Themes and message

The main themes of the short story “Shopping for One” by Anne Cassidy are inadequacy, loneliness, and frustration. The author’s message is that loneliness feels like a burden and a stigma in a society in which couples and families seem to be the norm, even when it comes to shopping.


Feelings of inadequacy occur when we feel we are rejected by society or a social group because we do not fit a certain norm of that society or group. For instance, an uneducated person may feel inadequate in a group of intellectuals, the same as a poor person is most likely to feel uncomfortable among the rich. “Shopping for One” explores this theme from the perspective of romantic relationships.

The protagonist, Jean, feels like an outcast because she is...

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