Marcel Mauss, A French Sociologist

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Big round eyes devoid of life stare directly at me. The body lays stiff, unanimated by the pounds of stuffing and the absence of senses. It’s brown fur rubs across my hand as I hold it’s existence. With paws facing forward and the tail posterior to the body, my dog plush was displaying it’s anatomical position. A gift given from my grandmother, my plush’s defining feature was it’s oversized black muzzle and the minute tongue that permeated through. Gifts are meant to hold sentimental value, which is part of the reason why gifts are exchanged today. Yet, is there anything else that makes gifts more intriguing to what we see today? Marcel Mauss, a French sociologist , published The Gift in which he studied Polynesian culture and the…show more content…
Incidentally, one can never fathom a mere thought of cursed gifts. Hau “the spirit of things” (Mauss pg.13) is a magical phenomenon that possesses gifts. This is due to the fact that, when gifts are exchanged “it will possess something of him…...a kind of personality.” To further elaborate on this point, gifts are essentially a curse in Polynesian culture. Whenever there was an act of trade, the exchange was viewed upon as a legal tie in which “a tie occurring through things, is one of the soul. Hence it follows that to make a gift of something to someone is to make a present of some part of oneself. “ (Mauss Pg.12) In a sense, preparing a gift follows this mindset because accepting a gift means to accept the giver’s offering and their feelings concentrated into it. Which in turn can be linked to my plush that represents a part of my grandmother that was given to me. My grandmother is Jamaican. The gift I was given came directly from her homeland, Jamaica. I’ve had my plush for over a decade. Growing up, I could have decided a long time ago to part with childish items. Yet, I chose to hold on to this particular gift. Maybe it is due to the amount of years that have passed. Or perhaps by throwing it away would be the same as throwing away time. I feel as if i’m obligated in a way to preserve my gift. Why throw away something when it was meant to be used and not discarded? I guess preserving my gift would consider it a tonga in this situation. Mauss studied items
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