Drinking Coffee Elsewhere-Theme

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Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is a story about denial. The character in the story is in denial about her mother’s death or about needing anyone in her life. The one friend in the story that she does begin to develop a relationship with is pushed away because she gets to close. She feels that by denying that she needs anyone in her life, that will make it true. So she goes through life, keeping to herself in a single dorm room, eating, and spending most of her time by herself. The main character in the story is Dina. She is an African American college student who is attending a prestigious university. Her character contributes to the theme in the sense that she has “denied” her heritage and upbringing by breaking the mold of what might have expected of her to accomplish as a young adult. While it is an inaccurate and ignorant stereotype to assume one is “selling out” or acting outside of their race for choosing to become educated and show an interest in learning, it is a stereotype that definitely exists. One of the places in the story that this is apparent is in her recollection of the trip to the grocery store. She recounts how unacceptable it was in her neighborhood to be seen with a book that one may be reading for simple pleasure as opposed obligation for school. She grew up in a poverty stricken neighborhood where going to a place like Yale was not something that happened to most of the youth brought up there. The theme of denial continues with her resistance to submit to her lesbianism. It’s very apparent that she has a deep seeded resentment of men that started with her father who treated her mother very poorly, and in her own words says, “My mother had died slowly. At the hospital, they'd said it was kidney failure, but I knew that, in the end, it was my father. He made her scared to live in her own home, until she was finally driven away from it in an ambulance.” Her disapproval of men in general also appears in the way that she speaks of her friend...
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