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Free Essay Sample «Ozeki: My Year of Meats»

«Ozeki: My Year of Meats»


My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki is a sentimental novel that has mesmerized the readers due to the wide coverage of real life situations. The novel presents a cultural tale that involves the intersection of the cultures of two women who have been brought together by the television and industrial agriculture, fertility and motherhood, life and love intersections. Therefore, the novel involves an integration of cultures hence forming a cross-cultural tale. It has presented its main characters, Jane Takagi and Akiko, using the concepts of truth and authenticity. The concepts have also been used rhetorically to show their interactions in jobs and different undertakings. Therefore, the essay aims at analyzing the use of the concepts of truth and authenticity to explain the plot of the novel.

Presentation of the Concepts of Truth and Authenticity

Character Authenticity

Authenticity is a term used to refer to the truthfulness of origins, sincerity, and devotions. Truth is a virtue where reality is expressed. The novel My Year of Meats has widely applied the two concepts. The book has mainly used them to imply the facts presented throughout the plot. Through these concepts, the book characters have been presented as real persons (Chae 24). Character identification has been the main issues where the concepts are applied. Jane’s identity has been revealed using the concept of truth whereby she is engaged in true life situations. She is an unemployed Japanese-American filmmaker who has lived a hard life. Authenticity in the novel is shown through the genuineness of her being granted a job whereby she will be working on a Japanese television show called My American Wife. The authentic nature of the book is seen through a valid call to a valid person. The validity of the call creates a reality touch throughout the novel. In addition, the call is made to request Jane to report to her new job but not to force her into the job. Authentically, Jane accepts the job offer. Therefore, a job culture is presented by the job acceptance of Jane.

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Authenticity in the Television Show

Authenticity concept has also been used in the novel to present the activities of the company that sponsored the television show My American Wife. The company was named American National Lobby Organization which mainly promoted the American culture through dishes (Chae 56). Authentically, the organization had been dealing with all kinds of the American meat; thus, when Jane begins to work with the organization, she often prepares articles that help in popularizing American meat. For instance, the truth of the organization’s dealings with the American meat is portrayed through Jane’s work where she writes that “meat is the message…it’s the meat who is the star of our show! She must be attractive, appetizing and all American.” These statements proclaim the authenticity of the organization’s activities in the United States. This authentic description of the task of the organization gives a message that Jane was in search of the American wives.

Film’s Title

The concept of truth has also been presented in the book through the title of the television film that Jane had been summoned to work in. The title was meaningful whereby its sense was hidden in the film’s content. From Jane’s writings in the film, she presents a picture of the title’s meaning. The title My American Wife generally presents a picture whereby the film is mainly talking of women in America. Rhetorically, the film uses the concept of meat to symbolize women. In addition, through the writing of Jane like ‘She is a meat made manifest: ample, robust, yet never tough or hard to digest’, the film creates a picture in that they were looking for the well set up American women. Therefore, the concept of truth has been applied in the novel through the presentation that matches with the film’s content.

First Person Conversations Authenticity

An authentic touch in the novel is also felt when Ruth uses the first person conversations in the novel. This reinforces the authenticity concept in the novel, because the first person conversation is easier to highlight a real point through a written context. It is also important for the enhancement of the concept of truth. It is easier to believe whatever a first person conversation entails than to believe a second person conversation. For instance, in the novel, Jane is often supposed to participate in the first person conversations. Ruth presents Jane’s conversations in a first person format through the use of quotations. The quotations show that the speaker had directly spoken or written the words in the quotations. The direct words of the speaker show that there is truth in the novel hence underlining its authentic state.

Cattle Breeding

Authenticity has also been reflected in the novel through the way it presents its message. The novel has delivered genuine messages in a genuine way. For instance, it is claimed that a high percentage, ninety-five percent to be exact, of the American cattle are frequently fed in a routine (Wallis 47). The genuineness of the message is captured through the explanations that the novel holds. From the title of the book, My Year of Meats, it is expected that the book would cover a certain section of the theme of food. Therefore, a presentation of the cattle feeding rate presents an authentic touch of the novel. The explanations regarding the state of the cattle also add to the description of the food in the novel in an authentic way. Ruth gives an example how the cattle have been taken care of to an extent that they are given routine pest control measures. Therefore, this is the reason why the Americans are frequently fond of taking meat.

Scientific Authenticity

Scientific authenticity in the novel has been presented through the effects of the excessive meat consumption. It is scientifically true that it can lead to pregnancy issues whereby a woman exposes her fetus to unwanted hormones (Oh 44). In the novel, authenticity concept has been used to present a practical picture of the complications of the excessive meat consumption. Jane has discovered that she had been exposed to the DES hormone mistakenly as a result of her mother’s consumption of meat (Schoeffel 63). This creates a more solid proof of Jane’s well-being whereby the hormone made her mother crave for more meat. Therefore, an authentic nature of the essay is enhanced by the explanations of meat consumption effects on women.

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America’s Birth Rate Authenticity

The authentic concept has been used in the novel to present the issue of America’s birth rate. It is genuine that excessive meat consumption in America as presented in the novel leads to the low birth rate. In real sense, America has a low birth rate which is a result of consuming a lot of meat (Kalejahi 33). The novel has shown that the American women have a low tendency of giving birth. A solid explanation has been set up to show the nature of a woman who excessively consumes meat in America. The hormones developed by eat in a woman’s body create a barrier to her conceptual ability leading to a low birth rate (Schoeffel 64). This leads to a rhetorical question in the novel – “Is there any healthy American wife?”.

Cultural Phenomenon

The cultural phenomenon in the novel is presented using the concept of authenticity. The novel portrays Jane’s main drive to Japanese as her cultural identity. She is proclaimed the director of the film My American Wife whereby she plays a major role in providing the meat diet to the Japanese in the film (Emily Cheng 57). She uses her authentic knowledge about culture to present her ideas to the Japanese. Therefore, Jane uses the American culture of consumer-driven market of meat. She applies the culture in Japan where she is determined to influence a large number of the Japanese to start consuming meat. This creates a true nature of Jane whereby she appreciates the American culture being ready to integrate the positive aspects of the American culture to the Japanese that explains her American-Japanese identity.

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Jane’s Nature

The concept of truth has been enhanced in the novel through the nature of Jane. Jane, as the main character, has been presented in various occurrences to have an urge to learn more of the culture around her (Chiu 63). It is true and authentic that Jane visits Dunn & Son, Custom Cattle Feeders to learn more about the ways to look after cattle. She was also determined to learn about the culture of looking after cattle. To add onto her knowledge, she also visited a neighboring slaughterhouse with the aim to get to know more about the culture of beef consumption. The urge of Jane to learn more creates an authentic touch of the novel. Therefore, the novel provides an authentic description of the character’s nature.


In conclusion, an authentic state is created due to the novel’s presentation of the plot. The plot has a genuine nature of explaining the events clearly. The concept of truth explains the specific events in the novel. The title is also presented in an authentic nature. Its authenticity is well elaborated using the novel’s content.



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