Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer - Essay Example

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“Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” by ZZ Parker is a text deeply woven in symbolic acts and situations in the lives of the individuals populating the short story Geese. The story revolves around Dina, a young African American woman, from Baltimore in the United States of America who sets out on a journey of self discovery to Tokyo, Japan. …
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Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
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Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer

The struggle for identity is the central idea on which Dina’s experiences revolve. As a young growing woman of African American descent, the protagonist sets out her standards of morality clearly defining limits to her actions beyond which she deemed an utter impossibility of her conduct. In addition, she goes to the extent of setting her role in the redemption of the negatively portrayed Black race of America following a long protracted history of racial prejudice by the dominant White race. However, in the context of a new strange land in the lonesome expansive city of Tokyo in Japan, she is left with no choice than to bend her own rules to ensure her survival in the backdrop of an oppressive environment that no one had prepared her for.

First of all Dina is portrayed as an outcast the moment she finds herself in a new land which turns out to be extremely unfamiliar for her. In Geese, we are told that she felt herself as the only African American in a country where there were American and African inhabitants as well. This had a great bearing with regard to her mission to correct the stereotypical negative picture painted about her race and assert a positive identity she believed in. According to the anthology Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, Dina prejudiced that many Japanese immediately associated Blacks with crime and other low ranked positions in life owing to the influence of many American films which portrayed them as such. Hoping to correct this perception, she resolves not to take a sweeping job on offer by a Japanese who derived pleasure in seeing others serve him. Read More
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