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
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.