In the manga, the scene where Albert bought only one sandwich and offered to share half of it with Candy is one of the most touching scenes to me. This scene is also in the anime adaptation and Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS).
I have mentioned in my previous post that when Albert recovered his memory and remembered who Candy was, he realized that his feelings for her had changed. He couldn’t decide whether to inform her of his recovery, which signified that his living arrangement with her would soon come to its inevitable end. In the manga it is obvious that he was very reluctant to leave her. Actually, a few months had passed before he had the courage to confess his recovery in a letter. In CCFS, he wrote to Candy that “I didn’t want to get away from that heartwarming life” (from spoilers).
After struggling for a long while, he returned home late with a heavy heart, but he astonishingly found Candy sprawling on the floor over the old newspapers filled with negative news of Terry. He scooped her up and put her to bed, and yet she appeared to be sound asleep still. Then he couldn’t help but stroke her hair and wipe her tears, calling her name in his heart. He appeared very emotional then, almost like he wanted to kiss her (at least to me), but of course nothing happened. He knew all about her hardships in life, and he sympathized with her. In his mind he said to her, I want to make you happy.
The next day Albert discovered that Candy had been fired by the hospital but chosen not to break the news to him, and after the lion’s attack, she cried in the dark by the window, not wanting to worry him again. Since apparently Candy had been keeping things to herself, Albert formed a plan, which led to the famous sandwich scene the following day.
Albert took Candy to a countryside, and she was so excited that she invited him to climb a tree with her. After knowing that he had bought only one sandwich, she said that they could share it half and half. That was when Albert suggested, “… share your anguish and concerns with me from now on, Candy?” He particularly stressed that her problems would only be shared between them both. “… Candy, it is great that one thing can be shared by two people…”
Candy might not have fully grasped the significance of the meaning behind Albert’s words at that moment, but she appeared very touched by his kindness to her. In CCFS (from spoilers), this is her recollection about this sandwich after Albert had disappeared:
Albert and I had promised to share everything with each other.
Both painful things and delightful things…
To me, what Albert said to Candy was not unlike a typical wedding vow. “… for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
We all know that marriage is more than love. It consists of small and big problems, joy and sorrow, sickness and health, etc. Yet, Albert wanted to share all these with Candy. In other words, even though he was aware that she was his adoptive daughter, he essentially just “proposed” to her, telling her that he wanted to take care of her for the rest of his life. Otherwise, how could he continue sharing her anguish or joy in her life if he would marry another woman one day?
As a matter of fact, this sandwich sharing is equivalent in some aspects with the popular “breaking bread ritual” in weddings nowadays, in which the bride and groom tear off pieces of bread, and then each eat a piece. Sometimes the bread is also shared with family and friends. It symbolizes their future as a family together. Even when “bread” is not involved during a wedding reception, the bride and groom sharing a piece of wedding cake before distributing it to the guests symbolizes their union and their promise to forever provide for each other.
Interestingly, both Polish and Russian weddings involve “breaking bread” as well. They call it “Bread and Salt Blessing”. In short, at a Polish wedding reception, the bride and groom are met by both sets of parents. The parents have a loaf of bread sprinkled with salt and a goblet of wine. The bread is given in hopes that the bride and groom will never go hungry or be in need. The salt conveys that time may be difficult but they must learn to cope with the struggles in their life and marriage. The wine, as with the bread, give hope that the couple never goes thirsty and their lives be filled with joy and happiness.
So what do you think? I would like to hear from you. The pictures are taken from the colored Korean manga version of Candy Candy.