Drinking Coffee Elsewhere Essay

627 WordsMar 23, 20113 Pages
Kevin Gable 8/30/10 Engl 1167 Communication Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is a very interesting story that brings up a number of thought-provoking issues in a relatively short format. Among these are questions of race, identity, and stereotyping. The narrator of the story is a young woman named Dina who feels lonely and confused in her new surroundings. As a poor, African American female at Yale (which the narrator portrays as a rich, male, and subtlety racist institution) she has difficulty adapting to the expectations of the university. From the very beginning, her differences set her apart from her classmates, until, from her point of view, she becomes a pariah, invisible and despised by the community. Of course, one must view…show more content…
Dina, disgusted by her classmate’s insipid choices, states that she would be a revolver. This response, obviously meant to shock and discomfort her peers, earns Dina her psychiatric evaluations. Many other examples occur throughout the story. In a meeting with the psychiatrist, the doctor asks Dina about her sexual history. This question create tension in different ways, such as sexuality, class, relationships, and shame. Typically, Dina invents a ridiculous story about losing her virginity spontaneously and foolishly. Because of her stereotyping attitude, Dina assumes that the white, male doctor would expect her, a poor, black girl, to do these sorts of things. She derails what could have been an important and intriguing discussion of Dina’s insecurities into what she thinks the doctor expects. Later, he calls this attitude her survival mechanism of a “black living in a white world.” It’s an interesting assertion, if not entirely fair to the people of all races who succeed without such pointless and insulting tactics. Ultimately, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is a story of regret. At the end of the tale, Dina gives a heartfelt reminiscence of her college days, now long past, and the opportunities she missed and friendships she broke. One person in particular, Heidi, could have been a close and important friend. Instead, Dina’s harsh and unpleasant demeanor severed a deep connection. In fact, Dina’s quick and
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