Packer's 'Brownies And Drinking Coffee Elsewhere'

1850 Words 8 Pages
Both ZZ Packer's “Brownies” and “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” explore the obstacles in life that cause reflection in the characters lives allowing them to discover the meanness in the world. “Brownies” is about young black girls who go to summer camp with white girls, where prejudice is present and they are racially segregated by choice. Their encounter with the white girls during a difficult situation allows them to better understand the complexity of meanness that exists in the world. In “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” Dina the main character is a black women struggling to find her identity and accepting that she is lesbian while isolating herself from everyone around her. Her encounter and friendship with Heidi, a Canadian white girl, develops …show more content…
Her father feels his resentment strongly, and that is why he asks the Mennonite family to paint his porch for free, so for once he can feel himself to be in a position of superiority over whites. This is where Laurel gets many of her ideas displaying that at such a young age she is victimized to every cruel action and thought in the world. After her experience at camp Laurel now understands her father's actions: "When you've been made to feel bad for so long, you jump at the chance to do it to others” (31). This is a realization for Laurel where she is mature enough to realize that she does not agree with her father's motivation and learns that "there is something mean in the world" that she cannot control. Laurel realizes that the kind act of the Mennonite family did nothing to heal the situation, since her father refused to thank the family for the work they had done. This situation gives Laurel the experience and depth to realize the evil that is in the world and that the only thing she can do is better herself and rise above through moving on just as Dina does in “Drinking Coffee

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