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Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Wild Plums by Grace Stone Coates
Wild Plums: an even shorter story than "The Other Woman"--it is only 2 and 1/2 pages long. But this story has several themes running through it and different ways to interpret Coates' story. Maybe it is just a story about a girl learning about wild grapes; or it could be a metaphor for a girl becoming of age; or it could be expounding upon the division of classes of the era and how her parents forbid her from mingling with others of an inferior class: "Would you really have gone with those ---" She hesitated, and finished, "with those persons?" One day a family who has gone plumming passes the girl's house. She watches them by the roadside and they fling a few handfuls toward her. She picks some up and wipes them on her dress. She runs in to tell her mother what she has found: Her mother says, "Did they see you picking them up?" She tells her to throw them away. The mother leaves for a while and then returns and instructs her how to wash and eat them without getting a stomach ache. The girl proudly hides an important fact from her mother: "I had eaten one at the road."