Uploaded by Sharon Montano

Turkeys in the Kitchen Canvas Post

Sharon Montano
DE English 111
Pd. 1
Turkeys in the Kitchen Canvas post
In Dave Barry's article "Turkeys in the Kitchen", Barry talks about the possibility that gender
roles are stereotyped. The primary method Dave Barry uses is humor. Throughout this essay, he
uses comedy to keep the tone light to amuse the reader; yet still make it easy get his message
across. We see him admit to his deficits as a man while comparing it to his inability to help out
in the kitchen –or really to do anything– on thanksgiving.
As Barry continues to describe his attitude towards the Thanksgiving occasion, he describes and
exaggerates the chaos in the household. As described by Barry, his house is overloaded with
"three small children and a dog who long ago had her brain eaten by fleas running fast
"(Barry, Pg.1) similarly as "the Detroit Lions are doing" (Barry, Pg.1) He explains that the chaos
is not meant for men to deal with. He says that the women are more efficient at settling down
the commotion. Barry used humorous metaphors and hyperboles such as “I would no more
enter that kitchen then I would attempt to park a nuclear aircraft carrier, but my wife, who runs
her own business, glides in the very casually and picks up exactly the right kitchen implement
and starts doing exactly the right thing without receiving any instructions whatsoever.” (Barry,
Pg.1) to compare his incompetence in the kitchen to something much more severe but
understandable to get his point across. So, Barry and the other dads are left to watch the
children due to their inability to help the women in the kitchen. However, they weren’t even
capable of that task, as they were constantly reminded to “please watch the children,” (Barry,
Pg. 1), meaning that the women are also better at caring for children. This leaves the reader
wondering, then what can men do? I believe this is exactly what Barry wanted others to think.
He wanted others to recognize the true message behind his writing on their own. His comedy
makes it obvious that the comparison is more than just the ability of two genders in a kitchen,
but more about stereotypes and how he admits they are mostly true. In a rhetorical analysis I
read, “Through the use of stereotypes he wants his readers to make a reform and change these
societal norms.”, this statement got me thinking and I agree with it because I noticed that his
tone near the end did begin to change making it seem as if he believes that women do not get
enough credit for their work and that these stereotypes should be reformed. I do not believe
that Barry refutes these stereotypes, because throughout the essay he explains how
incompetent he is as a man and how women are more competent at cooking, caring for
children, and settling the household (women stereotypes). He is admitting to his faults but he
was able to turn it into a light topic, making the essay entertaining to read while also easy to
comprehend and understand the underlying message.
“Rhetorical Analysis - ‘Turkeys in the Kitchen.’” AP Language & Composition @ CCECHS,