What are five connections between the title "Brownies" and the story?

Quick answer:

Five connections between the title "Brownies" and the story are that the story is about actual Brownies, the story centers on Brown girls and their reaction to White girls, sweets and sugary foods appear in some variety throughout the story, sweets can be harmful and so can these girls, and you digest foods, like brownies, which makes us think of bathrooms. Where does the big showdown happen? The bathroom.

Expert Answers

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There are many connections between the title of ZZ Packer's story and the story itself. Since you asked for five, we’ll limit the connections to just five.

Let's start with perhaps the most obvious one. The story is called “Brownies,” and the story centers on two groups of Brownies. What are Brownies? They’re young Girl Scout troops. The title connects to the story since the story is literally about Brownies.

One group of Brownies features girls of color. The other group of Brownies is composed of White girls. Here, too, Brownies link to the story. It signifies skin color and the importance of race. What's the allegation? As Snot says, "Arnetta said she'd heard one of the Troop 909 Girls call Daphne a n****."

A third connection comes from how sweets and sugary foods play a role in the story. Look at the first paragraph of Packer's story. How are the White girls described? Their complexions are portrayed as a "blend of ice cream: strawberry, vanilla." We also see sweets play a role in another scene. What are they building miniature churches out of? Popsicle sticks.

Our fourth connection adds to the theme of sweets. Brownies, like most sweets, tend to be delicious. Yet they're not exactly good for you. How might the Brownies in this story mimic the nature of Brownies and sweets. How might the Brownies be harmful? Let's look at Octavia. She wonders, "Why did we have to be stuck at a camp with retarded girls?"

Our fifth connection has to do with bathrooms. It's interesting how Brownies links to food, which links to digestion, which makes us think of bathrooms. Where's the big showdown? In the bathroom. Additionally, how might digestion be a theme of the story? Not digestion literally. Maybe think of it more as processing. How did the Brownies fail to properly digest/process Troop 909? What does this indigestion/processing error lead to?

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