Recitatif

The Klondike Bars Symbol Analysis

The Klondike Bars Symbol Icon

Though only mentioned a handful of times, the Klondike bars Twyla buys at the gourmet market are an important signifier of her circumstances and character as an adult woman, and of the differences between her and Roberta. Twyla first travels to the market out of curiosity, and walks the aisles unable to justify spending “James’ fireman’s salary on anything except Klondike bars, which her son Joseph and father-in-law both love. This small detail illustrates Twyla’s modest, responsible, restrained personality, as well as the extent to which her life is oriented around the desires of others.

However, even this one purchase of the Klondike bars leads to further guilt and anxiety for Twyla. Roberta suggests the two women get coffee and catch up, and Twyla’s mind jumps immediately to the Klondike bars, which will melt in the car. She reprimands herself, saying it “served me right for buying all that stuff I didn't need.” Once the conversation in the coffee shop sours, she thinks again of the Klondike bars, and wonders if she is childish to still care about the time when Roberta snubbed her in Howard Johnson’s. This moment thus confirms the association between the Klondike bars and the fragility of Twyla’s maturity and self-esteem.

The Klondike Bars Quotes in Recitatif

The Recitatif quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Klondike Bars. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Friendship vs. Family Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Recitatif published in 1998.
Recitatif Quotes

You got to see everything at Howard Johnson's, and blacks were very friendly with whites in those days. But sitting there with nothing on my plate but two hard tomato wedges wondering about the melting Klondikes it seemed childish remembering the slight.

Related Characters: Twyla (speaker), Roberta
Related Symbols: The Klondike Bars
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Klondike Bars Symbol Timeline in Recitatif

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Klondike Bars appears in Recitatif. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Recitatif
Friendship vs. Family Theme Icon
Outsiders, Outcasts, and the Unwanted Theme Icon
Childhood vs. Adulthood Theme Icon
...there out of curiosity, but the only item she can bring herself to buy are Klondike bars . She notes that both her father-in-law and her son (Joseph) love them. (full context)
Friendship vs. Family Theme Icon
Outsiders, Outcasts, and the Unwanted Theme Icon
Childhood vs. Adulthood Theme Icon
Race and Prejudice Theme Icon
...if Twyla has a moment to get a coffee, and Twyla briefly considers that the Klondike bars will melt in her car, before concluding that this “served me right for buying all... (full context)
Friendship vs. Family Theme Icon
Outsiders, Outcasts, and the Unwanted Theme Icon
Sickness and Disability Theme Icon
Childhood vs. Adulthood Theme Icon
Race and Prejudice Theme Icon
...would get off the bus and come into Howard Johnson’s together. However, she remembers the Klondike bars and feels childish for still feeling insulted. The women promise to “keep in touch this... (full context)