A Sign of Unity; write about the significance of the sign in the short story "Wing's Chips" by Mavis Gallant

Essay by supa_soccer_babeHigh School, 10th gradeA-, May 2004

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"Wing's Chips" is a short story by Mavis Gallant with a powerful message. The theme of this story is that even though many people have different backgrounds and dissimilar views on what is right and wrong, they want to be respected and accepted for who they are. "Wing's Chips" focuses on three separate cultures, who in the end, learned to respect each other in a subtle way.

A French-Canadian town is the setting for this short story. A river divides this town, with an English community on the opposite side. The town is geographically and psychologically split at the start. The father has much more in common with the English than he does with French. First of all, because he is from England and the other parents had lived there as well. Since he made the decision to live on the opposite side of the river from them, he lost his social standing.

The other Englishmen ask the daughter about why her father was socializing with the "frogs". This demonstrates their racism and strong dislike towards the French-Canadians. The father is a painter, and because of this does not have the respect of his daughter. She wants him to have a respectful job that pays well like the other men in the village. The father is considered to be of a lower social status than the others because of the way he earned his living.

The relationships between the father, daughter, and community continue to evolve throughout the story. The daughter wants her father to be more like the others, and go down to the bar to have a good time. He, on the other hand, has some ideas of his own on how she should be raised. His intention is to put her in music lessons as well...