Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Everyone eating sunflower seeds in we the living

Rate this topic


airborne
 Share

Recommended Posts

Why does Rand always mention everyone eating sunflower seeds?

e.g. "Tenants bringing their own chair sat chewing sunflower seeds. Those who brought no chairs sat on the floors and chewed sunflower seeds."(pp.176).

I get that people like the sunflower seeds but its mentioned so much. Why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not that they like them, it's rather that they need some food with high energy content in order to keep alive, and sunflower seeds are the best that are available.

Eating something because you like it is something we take for granted in the West, but it was very much the exception rather than the norm in the Soviet Union. You would eat food simply because you had it--eating food you liked was a luxury as unattainable as a private jet is to a college kid with no rich friends or relatives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Possibly relevant fact about sunflower seeds:

1) They are native to Russia and are associated with Soviet bloc countries.

2) As CF indicated, they were probably one of the only foods available - especially given the shortages under communism.

3) Eating sunflower seeds is a time-consuming process and there is a loose bohemian association with their consumption, even today. The idea is that people who eat them would have to have nothing better to do than sit in the streets all day eating seeds.

4) In addition to being time-consuming, it is also a messy thing, with the constant spitting of shells involved. This is another reason it is sometimes seen as uncouth. Again, half-starving Russians with nothing better to do all day because their government outlaws enterprise would be less concerned with this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idea is that people who eat them would have to have nothing better to do than sit in the streets all day eating seeds.

That's right, killing time is another important need under a dictatorship, so as a fatty and slow food, they carry a double benefit.

In addition to being time-consuming, it is also a messy thing, with the constant spitting of shells involved. This is another reason it is sometimes seen as uncouth. Again, half-starving Russians with nothing better to do all day because their government outlaws enterprise would be less concerned with this.

What's more, they might even enjoy "spitting at the system." A three-fer, then!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
Why does Rand always mention everyone eating sunflower seeds?

e.g. "Tenants bringing their own chair sat chewing sunflower seeds. Those who brought no chairs sat on the floors and chewed sunflower seeds."(pp.176).

I get that people like the sunflower seeds but its mentioned so much. Why?

Happy Independence Day!

Sunflower seeds are very commonly eaten in Russia. Sunflowers are easy to grow in the Carpathian-Ural area. Therefore, since it is cheap they grow many. If you have ever seen a Russian movie or travel brochure they often show sunflowers. One of my Russian associates said sunflower seeds are the equivalent to an American’s popcorn. He also said if you get on the subway in Moscow the floor is covered in shells of sunflower seeds! Since Miss Rand’s roots are in Russia perhaps she drew from this Russian tradition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why does Rand always mention everyone eating sunflower seeds?

e.g. "Tenants bringing their own chair sat chewing sunflower seeds. Those who brought no chairs sat on the floors and chewed sunflower seeds."(pp.176).

I get that people like the sunflower seeds but its mentioned so much. Why?

1. They are tasty, especially if hulled, roasted and salted.

2. They are healthy to eat: From the Wiki::

Health benefits

In addition to linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, selenium,calcium and zinc.[6] Additionally, they are rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.[7] They are also low calorie food in regular sized servings[clarify].

Eating sunflower seeds is more healthy than inhaling tobacco smoke.

ruveyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. They are tasty, especially if hulled, roasted and salted.

2. They are healthy to eat: From the Wiki::

Health benefits

...

Eating sunflower seeds is more healthy than inhaling tobacco smoke.

Do you really believe that this explains why Rand mentions people eating sunflower seeds in her novel about life and death in the Soviet dictatership?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. They are tasty, especially if hulled, roasted and salted.

2. They are healthy to eat: From the Wiki::

Health benefits

...

Eating sunflower seeds is more healthy than inhaling tobacco smoke.Do you really believe that this explains why Rand mentions people eating sunflower seeds in her novel about life and death in the Soviet dictatorship?

I doubt it.

The question to which I responded is: why do (some) people like sunflower seeds.

I simply pointed out that sunflower seeds have several healthy components (and I cited a place that lists them). And properly prepared, they are quite tasty.

ruveyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The question to which I responded is: why do (some) people like sunflower seeds.
I see, so you interpret Airborne's statement "I get that people like the sunflower seeds but its mentioned so much. Why?" not as asking "Why is it mentioned so much (in Rand's novel)", but as "Why do some people like sunflower seeds"?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...