Born With a Silver Spoon: The Themes of Silver Spoon

A quick note: if you haven’t already read it, I would highly recommend reading my previous blog post on the setting of Silver Spoon, as the setting is a highly important lense the themes of the series are viewed through. In addition, this post will contain spoilers for the manga past the point the anime covers. As it’s a slice-of-life, there aren’t any groundbreaking plot twists, but if you want to experience the manga entirely for yourself, you should do so before reading this article.

Silver Spoon, as a slice-of-life, has a plot that’s going on mostly in the background. However, it does have very strong themes that are presented almost immediately.

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“There’s a saying in other countries that saying those born holding a silver spoon will never want for food as long as they live. It’s like a symbol of prosperity.”
“I’ve heard that in some places, they give a silver spoon to a newborn in the hopes that they will never have to worry about going hungry. Times are hard right now in this recession, but you could say that all the kids born into farming families had a silver spoon because they don’t have to worry about not being able to make their livelihood.”
~Mayumi Yoshino and Aki Mikage, Chapter 63

The idiom “born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth” is generally used to describe someone as being born into wealth and privilege. It’s a good idiom in a lot of ways. Silver implies money. The fact they’re born with it in their mouth implies that no work needs be done and that others will provide for them. But, most importantly for this series, it implies that the subject will not want for food, one of the most basic needs of humans.

Silver Spoon focuses on that last part and consequently twists the meaning of the idiom a bit. You don’t need a lot of material things other than food. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have money; if you can eat, you can survive. And if you can produce that food by yourself, that’s what truly makes someone blessed. That’s why the school hangs a silver spoon above the dining hall: to tell the students–and the reader–that wealth is not nearly as important as self-sufficiency. Read More