Study Guide

The Hundred-Foot Journey What's Up With the Ending?

By Richard C. Morais

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What's Up With the Ending?

The book ends kind of quickly. And by quickly, we mean that while reading it we kind of thought that there would be another page or two. Hassan's just had his big success (hey there, third star), everyone's calling to congratulate him, Margaret's back in town, and they're planning a party…

And then we're done.

But let's take a look at why it ends this way, because more likely than not, our author didn't just give up at the end and call it a day.

Hassan goes into his office the night that he's won his third Michelin star and sees that Margaret has placed the newspaper documenting his big win on his desk. He cuts out the news clip, slides it in a frame, and places it on what's described as a "hungry" empty wall, "Of generations ago" (20.80). Naturally, we're going to end with one last food reference.

The fact that he describes this space where this marker of his success (a.k.a. the news clip) is displayed indicates that there's always been a hungry spot in Hassan's life when it comes to success. He's been driven for so long and worked so hard to make it as a chef, and finally, in the last six words of the story, this hunger is satisfied.

Now let's zoom in even closer, though, and take a closer look at the last three words: "Of generations ago." The hunger that is finally satisfied doesn't just belong to Hassan—it started before him—and in recognizing this, Hassan identifies finally himself comfortably with the Haji family legacy. This is a subtle reference to his grandfather's "great hunger" (1.3) from way back in the day, and lets us know that Hassan has figured out how to hold both his Indian heritage and identity along with his culinary curiosity. Yay.

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