What is the theme of "Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates?

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"Shopping" highlights relationships between mother and daughter, and demonstrates how such relationships may be deeply strained, even when the mother and daughter are on a shopping excursion at the mall—a characteristically American activity. Reading the story is both interesting to both sexes. Women will be naturally interested in the two women, and the men are not so far away from family life that they will not also be interested in the alienation that the story illustrates. This story by Joyce Carol Oates highlights the unique bonds that a parent-child relationship contains, and though similar to other works of literature, this contemporary setting modernizes the ages old problems in dealing with children from a parent's perspective. 

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