Short Story Analysis

Topics: English-language films, Pride parade, Family Pages: 3 (1006 words) Published: July 18, 2011
“Territory” by David Leavitt
Ever since Neil told his parents he was a homosexual there has been a distance between him and his mother. Though she did make attempts to be supportive towards her son’s lifestyle by attending the gay pride parade, Neil soon realizes that it is all just for show. It was during that parade where she showed her true colors. In the story, a drag queen comes from the parade to greet Neil’s mother Barbara and as Neil and he returns to the parade, Neil looks back and sees a look of disgust on his mother’s face. At this point, Neil realizes that his mother will never accept him for the way he is. This is just one instance where Neil feels he cannot be accepted in his mother’s presence. Later in the story Neil decided to move away from home to go live in New York, where he feels he will be accepted and can be himself. After a long time being away, Neil finally decides to come home and introduce his lover Wayne to his mother. I feel this is an attempt on Neil’s part to see his mother’s point of view on the whole thing. It is at the dinner table where I feel that it finally hit Barbara of the reality of her son’s life. As she began to converse with Wayne at the dinner table, she couldn’t help but to pay close attention to Neil and Wayne’s hand-holding. I believe that it was at this moment where Barbara truly felt her opposition towards homosexuality. It was from then on that she began to push Neil away. In the garden scene with Neil and his mother, she finally admits to her opposition and states that “it is too much” and proceeds to walk away from the conversation. This is a turning point for Neil, because he realizes that he will never be accepted by his mother, and he knows it is time to move on. He realizes this and decides that it is time to break away from his mother and live his own life. Without his mother, he can now begin to accept himself for who he is.

Alice Walker, "Everyday Use"
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