Analysis Of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

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“Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” by ZZ Packer follows the story of Dina, a young black girl from Baltimore, as she copes with life studying at Yale (117-119). Throughout the story, Dina seems to be a fiercely and independent character that likes to be on her own and away from society. She always speaks her mind, regardless of the consequences, but her independence destroys her because of her lack of introspection. This helps her to give up things that will help her get out of her individualism. Due to this, she pushes away the only friend she has because of her inability to understand herself, and her toxic personality. She wants to keep hurting herself adding more pain to her life. She is clearly an example of someone who is in pain that needs…show more content…
At the beginning of the story, Packer shows how hard it was for Dina to adapt to society due to her race. Being black was the most difficult thing at that time because black students had to do their best to fit into the white system. Racism was so intense that whites were considered superior to blacks. As a student, Dina and other freshmen played frustrating and heady games that were believed to be for smart people. During one of the orientation games, the freshman counselor says to her, “You do not have to play this game. As a person of color, you shouldn’t have to fit into any white, patriarchal system” (Packer 118). This clearly shows that there were separate systems for whites and the coloreds. Also, the incidence where Dina names a revolver as an inanimate object she would like to transform to seems intentional. Her main intention was to turn herself into an outcast. Dina implies, “my revolver comment won me years’ worth of psychiatric counseling, and weekly meetings” (Packer 120). This seems like she wanted to be a self-made outcast being able to accomplish her objective; putting everyone against her. She even avoids eating her meals at the common room. She then excludes herself from others and stocks up on ramen noodles in
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