Rosenwein establishes, as my classmates have discussed, her view favoring a narrative that takes into account the complexity of emotions and emotional communities rather than viewing emotional history as a “grand narrative.” Having always been interested in health and dietary concerns I thought about how much of an effect quality of life and diet would have had on emotional communities throughout the ages as well as the extent emotional communities in this respect vary in modern times.
While it seems like a stretch, emotional communities can be built around diet. Those who choose to be vegetarian have chosen to enter into a certain emotional community and one that has an immense effect. In this same respect, emotional communities are also built around access to food, or lack thereof. In our relative society we cannot begin to comprehend the complexity of emotion surrounding starvation as we have never felt the effect of this. Malnutrition and starvation in the Middle Ages was a very prevalent and devastating occurrence, building sets of emotional communities that could foster the “childlike” behavior that early emotional historians believed of the Middle Ages. This again reiterates the importance of placing emotions in context while recognizing they are experienced by all.