Tales of the City Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Discuss Mary Ann's initial reaction to the lifestyle in San Francisco.

Mary Ann comes from a much more conservative place than San Francisco in the 1970's. At first, she is uncomfortable by the blatant sexuality all around her.

2. Describe Mrs. Madrigal and Mary Ann's initial interaction.

Mrs. Madrigal is warm when Mary Ann comes to Barbary Lane to look for an apartment. Mrs. Madrigal tells Mary Ann that she can move in right away. She acts a replacement mother figure for Mary Ann in her new city.

3. Which other significant character does Mary Ann meet at Social Safeway?

At Social Safeway, Mary Ann is uncomfortable with the aggressive sexuality around her. A man comforts her and his boyfriend, Michael, comes over and joins the conversation. This is the reader's first introduction to Michael Tolliver, an important character in the novel.

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