Reaction 8 - Rachel Schwarz ENG 112-NF March 1, 2010 Cake...

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Rachel Schwarz ENG 112-NF March 1, 2010 “Cake” “Cake” is the narrative of Penny Straithorn, a shy woman who has just left an unhealthy relationship. As Penny begins to recoil from the grasp of her former lover Clarence, she starts to extend herself to and connect with her coworkers. She is friendless, and realizes this heartbreaking fact when contemplating plans for Thanksgiving dinner. The story is titled “Cake” because almost all of Penny’s relations with others are centered on a cake or a form of dessert. Cake or dessert acts as a major symbol in the narrative. Penny bakes a cake on a whim and brings the dessert to work to share with Gloria and the men that work in the Property department. She capitalizes on this opportunity to connect with Gloria. She connects with Karen, a coworker that she frowns upon, by complementing her dessert marzipan snowmen. Cake is also an example of how destructive Penny’s relationship is with Clarence. Clarence reacts negatively to Penny’s baking and twice exclaims, “You made yourself a cake? Figures. Don’t get fat, now” (91). Penny’s relationship with Clarence is so damaging that Penny is left friendless and alone after the end of their courtship. In another effort to extend herself,
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Reaction 8 - Rachel Schwarz ENG 112-NF March 1, 2010 Cake...

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