Ideas for an imaginary conversation between Dee in "Everyday Use" and Sammy from “A & P.”
Write a dialog between the two characters that includes a description of the setting. Your dialog should be a natural, imagined conversation that demonstrates your understanding of the two characters, their story and experiences. It can be at a coffee shop or standing in line waiting for a movie to start or some other situation where they might encounter each other and have a conversation.
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In the stories "Everyday Use" and "A&P," the two characters you mention, Dee and Sammy, are very different, so I would expect their dialogue to represent two opposite points of view, though they wouldn't be necessarily arguing.
Dee is very self-centered. She has turned her back on her American heritage to connect directly to her long, lost ancestors from Africa. She has taken an African name, and "family" is "concerned" she has completely rejected what they have had as a family unit in this country.
In this sense, Dee has already crossed that "rite of passage" into a new part of her life.
Sammy on the other hand, is very innocent in his perceptions. He reacts emotionally--and one would have to argue--and physically, not only to the girls who enter the store in bathing suits, but also to his manager's chastisement of them for their attire. Sammy has not crossed that line, taken that passage yet, but is on the brink, noting as he quits the job, that things will never be the same.
Dee is somewhat militant in her view of the world; Sammy is resolved in his decision to quit for the sake of the girls, but the author seems to provide the smallest hint of sadness in Sammy's decision, knowing that he is leaving special behind him as he takes this step in "growing up."
It is here that I see the biggest difference between the two, which casts them into opposite ends of the spectrum: Dee feels strongly defiant in leaving her past behind, while Sammy is vindicated in his decision, but sad.
So a dialogue between the two should be based on what you know of each of them from the story. For instance, the two characters might meet at a party--or at the coffee house--and end up talking socially.
If Dee complains about family, wanting the quilts and not getting them, Sammy might ask why she wants them. Are they meaningful because the hands of the past have made them, people who she holds dear to her? Once she responds, Sammy might be curious about why she has turned her back on her "roots," and in that case, why she even wants the quilts that her sister truly cares about. Dee's response should be in keeping with her character, so something selfish would be expected: she's part of the family with an equal right to them. However, this contradiction is also a part of Dee. If she really is a part of the family, why would she insist she is not, 'repressed by a people who brought her ancestors to the New World?' She says she wants nothing to do with that heritage. Sammy might respond to the contradiction, and share something of his own experience: that one's past, regardless of whether we like it or not, is a part of who we are. He might then talk about how things changed when he left that part of himself behind: the world looked different, his parents seemed to expect more or never understood his decision...or even that they did, but knew his life was moving in a new direction; perhaps they were sorry to see it go.
Each speaker's dialogue should be part of a new "paragraph."
The dialogue should include quotation marks at the start and end of each person's "speech." Use conversational tags (he said/she said tags), with punctuation inside the closing quotation mark of each "speech."
"I wonder if this game will ever end," Amanda sighed.
"But it looks like they're going to win!" exclaimed Mike. "Are you excited about winning?"
"Yeah, that's great!? Will your mother be able to take us home?" Amanda responded.
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