What Is the Theme of "Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates?

The theme of the short story "Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates is both the bond and the strain present within the relationship between a mother and daughter. The story's theme is one many mothers and their daughters can relate to.

"Shopping" is based on a mother's reluctance to acknowledge that her teen daughter is no longer a child. The daughter's growth is primarily illustrated through her reluctance to participate in her regular shopping date with her mother.

Dozens of Oates's works have included a similar theme, from the novel "We Were the Mulvaneys" to the short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Like these other works, "Shopping" explores the multiple facets of a relationship between mother and daughter.