Outsiders

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The Discrimination of Outsiders

ZZ Packer’s Drinking Coffee Elsewhere a book that consists of many short stories that are very similar in plot, however very different in the overall meaning of the story. Throughout her compilations of short stories Packer grasps the idea of being labeled an “outside” in our society. In these three stories “Brownies, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, and Geese” all of the main characters of the story receive discrimination from their other peers. In one story “Brownies” the main character are the ones dishing out the discrimination. Being labeled an “outsider” does mean that you are receiving some form of discrimination; however that discrimination or malice towards “outsiders” is not always intentional.

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere opens with the idea of the main character Dina being labeled as an “outsider” at her college orientation at Yale. When the story starts she is not being out casted by her peers, but instead herself. Her actions in return make her become considered an “outsider” to her other Yale peers. Dina was a new student at school and was supposed to be participating in a game called Trust. After she finds out the rules to the game she says “No way, No Fucking Way.”(Pg 117) Her inappropriate answer shows how being considered an “outsider” was not forced upon Dina from her peers, she brought it on herself. Dina does this again when she is with her counselor playing another one of the orientation games. This time the kids are in a group going around basically introducing themselves and are to name an object to describe themselves. When it is Dina’s turn to participate in the game she says “My name is Dina, and if I had to be any object, I guess I’d be a revolver.”(Pg 118) Dina once again shows how she is making herself more and more of an “outsider” with responses like this. When she answers with revolver it is so uncommon and disturbing that it causes Dina to receive one year’s worth of Psychiatric Counseling. This in...
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