Bathes and “Mythologies”

Roland Barthes wrote about “Mythologies” and his whole stance is that anything can be a myth. In one section in title “Milk and Wine” he talks about how wine and milk are opposites and uses both of these items to describe them in the roles of individual lives. Through out this section he points out how the imagine of wine is such a great value to the French and they take pride in making it and drinking it. But they also respect it and do not drink it to get drunk, like the images of other countries have and drinking alcohol. Wine brings along the image of socializing of celebrating. Wine symbolizes something that everyone drinks in every type of atmosphere.

One item that jumps into my head that goes along with this idea of the mythology of wine is ice cream. The mythology of ice cream is looked at as an important part of any form of gathering of individuals to celebrate, honor, or announce something. When people go to a local ice cream parlor they have a sense of pride and nationalism that they enjoy the ice cream even more when they can share that time with family and friends. It’s an item that is expected to be involved in social gathering like birthdays, when there is birthday cake there should also be ice cream. The idea of going to an ice cream at an ice cream shop is the image of social, fun, and enticing no matter what the circumstances are. One quote from Barthes is “Once you reach a certain detailed awareness of everyday life, absence of wine is shocking, like something exotic.” (Barthes, p.81) From this quote if you insert ice cream in for the word wine it represents so many individual lives, the after dinner choice for something sweet. The thought of eating ice cream is already in the subconscious of people’s minds. Along with eating a nice dinner comes the image and myth of getting ice cream for dessert.

Ice cream has created such a void that to fill that void people started creating wild flavors and different ways of preparing it and eating it. Ice cream was created such a long time ago and so many people have grown up loving certain flavors. The choices of ice cream that individual people make to eat can also be analyzed as a way of interpreting that individual’s life style. From this, ice cream is something that can lift people up or comfort people when they’re in a depressed mood. The mythology of ice cream goes way beyond that interesting label and the colorful or cheesy description of why you should buy that flavor. Ice cream is a part of everyone’s life in a different way.

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