In this story the common element that the stolen beef and jell-o share is that they are a symbol for time periods. The jell-o is a symbol of the present. In the story it says, “My mother was telling my grandmother how to fix the jell-o’ (1211). The fact that her mother is having to teach her grandmother how to make the jell-o and not the other way around is what hints at the jell-o being a symbol for the present. The stolen meat also represents a time period however, instead of representing the present it represents the past. Meat has been around for many centuries and like in many stories including this one it represents the time when times were much simpler.
I feel like her father is a coward and is humiliated. He chooses in several different instances to not stick up and/or speak up for his daughter. I think as a father even if your child makes a mistake or you don’t agree with what they are doing you should attempt to protect them. In the story her dad originally sticks up for her but then he stops because he starts to realize that he could be ridiculed. If he wasn’t a coward he would have kept standing up for her and protected her from getting beat and raped.
The title “Death Constant Beyond Love is important because it is saying that death is inevitable and although people say that love concurs all, it in fact can not concur death. In the story the Senator is only given approximately 6 months to live, soon after he falls in love with a young woman. Although his love for her is able to make him somewhat forget about his death that will be coming soon, he can’t escape thinking about dying.
I agree with you that her father was a coward and that should have protected her daughter. I think one minute he was proud of her and next minute he was ashamed, like the traditional beliefs were more important than what his daughter went through.