Who does "Shopping" focus on?
The story is primarily about Mrs. Dietrich, inasmuch as the narration is focused on her. The women possess the differences that naturally, but regrettably, seem to develop between children and parents. A mother-daughter relationship does not preclude individuality, nor can it prevent anger. Ironically, the story’s ending indicates that Mrs. Dietrich is inextricably a mother. Parents always wish to shield their children from hurt and embarrassment, right from birth through adolescence, adulthood, and old age (if parents live so long). The wish never dies. Someone once wrote that no matter what you do, your parents will still, somehow, continue loving you. Mrs. Dietrich therefore finds reason for criticizing Nola at the same time that she embraces her.