"We Were The Mulvaneys" By Joyce Carol Oates.

1002 words - 4 pages

The book, "We Were the Mulvaneys" by Joyce Carol Oates, is the story of an "all American family" that falls apart after their daughter is raped. The father, who once had a successful roofing company, lets his business slide and devotes his life to alcohol and law suits, and the three brothers either abandon the family or try to find a method of gaining vengeance for their sister. This particular excerpt describes a scene by the brook, where the youngest Mulvaney (Judd) is contemplating life and the shortness of it. This episode occurs before the family initially fell apart. Oates uses several literary techniques, such as stream of consciousness, the writing perspective of a first person narrative, and the method of foreshadowing, to indirectly characterize Judd Mulvaney who is the narrator of the manuscript as a mature young man, very aware of situations surrounding his life, and a person who simply cares for his family.Judd's thoughts are predominantly known throughout this entire selection, and they mostly concern his own death that he feels is impending. The stream of consciousness technique becomes evident early on when Judd is by the brook. As he gazes into the water he goes over in his mind what he is thinking, not just what he's assessing about the brook, but also he lets his mind wander to items that he must remember to tell his father and, unknowingly, the rationality of children. As he stares at the moving water his begins to focus his mind on his heartbeat, which it the catalyst that leads Judd's thought process to focus on his life and eventual death. Several times Judd thinks the exact same concept of: "Every heartbeat past and gone!", as if each beat brings him and his family nearer to their ends. The context seems to reveal that Judd is afraid of death, yet he is also aware that there is nothing he can do about it, that one day he too will die. This method of characterization exposes the fact that Judd is resigned to the truth that he will pass away ultimately, which in turn shows that he is mature beyond his years. For an eleven to twelve year old boy to contemplate such a thing as his own death surely shows that he has experienced more in his life that has made him psychologically older.The book is written in the first-person point of view as a narrative, which adds and deducts from the story itself. The pro of using such a perspective is that the reader can gain insight into the subject/narrator's mind, which can provide helpful hints about underlying clues, but on the other hand the reader's knowledge of events is limited to the narrator's awareness of proceedings, basically: If the raconteur doesn't know, then the reader doesn't know. This literary technique is a good method of indirect characterization, it lets on to the character's exact thoughts...

Find Another Essay On "We Were the Mulvaneys" by Joyce Carol Oates.

The Tragedy of Imagination: Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" by Joyce Carol Oates

5036 words - 20 pages characters of Antony and Cleopatra there are any number of mythologizing poets and/or playwrights, but the most important is Antony. Snared within the net of appearances and forced by politics (that most extreme form of fantasy) to break free, Antony's agony is curiously muted for someone who has achieved and lost so much; but this fact can be better understood if we examine the basis of the play and its relationship to "tragedy."The movement of

Behind the facade of a killer: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

1386 words - 6 pages Piper of Tucson" 1st ed. Portland: Feral House, 1996. Print. Moser, Don. "The Pied Piper of Tuscon." Life 4 Mar. 1966: n. pag. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. Oates, Joyce Carol. "When Characters From the Page Are Made Flesh on the Screen." The New York Times. N.p., 23 Mar. 1986. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. Oates, Joyce Carol. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Exploring Literature: Writing and Arguing about Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. By Frank

Comparison on "Song of Songs" by Ellen Gilchrist and "Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates

891 words - 4 pages Unconditional LoveWhat is love? Love is a very special and meaningful word to each human being. Unconditional love is a special type of love that can happen when each person accepts each others without hesitation. In most families, the bond between parents and child is one of unconditional love. However, not all families' relationships are ideal. In the two short stories "Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates and "Song of Songs" by Ellen Gilchrist, the

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, by Joyce Carol Oates

1671 words - 7 pages Woven into the twisted short story by Joyce Carol Oates “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” stands a figure of demonic proportions; a man whose mere presence develops into an ominous fear, bringing with him a thickness of anxiety and an eerie sense of premature death. While her parents are away on a Sunday afternoon, Connie is approached by a strange man named Arnold Friend who is determined to seduce her and steal her away. Rather than

"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" By-Joyce Carol Oates

623 words - 3 pages The Devil And ConnieIn Joyce Carol Oates's, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", the problem of evil encapsulates the theme of the story. Oates uses an allegorical figure of evil to illustrate this theme. She also alludes to hell through the character Arnold Friend, as the devil. His victim is Connie, an average teenage girl, just realizing her beauty. Arnold Friend comes to personify the devil who Connie unintentionally invites in by

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

1171 words - 5 pages culture or what he would for his culture to be. The two girls both made conscious and unconscious decisions throughout their lives to try to find their identity with escapism from their families, their image they portrayed in society, and the new influences they allowed to enter their lives. These decisions ultimately determined their identity for them. Works Cited Oates, Joyce Carol. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Literature and Ourselves sixth edition. Vivian Garcia, 2009. Pearson education. 106- 120. Print. Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use” Literature and Ourselves sixth edition. Vivian Garcia, 2009. Pearson education. 912-920. Print.

Analysis of Where are you Going, Where Have you Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

774 words - 4 pages The things we do are what define ourselves. Desperate teenagers tend to make unreasonable decisions trying to fit into society. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?,” a story written by Joyce Carol Oates relates the story of a young girl that flaunts her beauty which ultimately leads to her abduction. Lost in a fantasy world, Connie, a self-absorbed 15-year-old girl, spends much of her time going out with her friends and meeting older boys

Summary of Where are you going where have you been? by Joyce Carol Oates

575 words - 2 pages relief that you’ve finally have made it. For many, our minds play tricks on us when we feel a moment of fear, however for others it may turn out to be their worst nightmare. In the story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, a young girl is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever when she is confronted by a man obsessed with her beauty. In the beginning, the author introduces Connie, a 15-year

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates

1329 words - 5 pages appear to be “an old friend” but his interior read “arch fiend”. Arnold Friend is a mythological character that represents the evil that sits in everyone. In some people that evil can burst out like rays of light, like the ones that were described in the story by Connie. Like the expression, “there is a devil on one shoulder, and an angel on the other”, Arnold Friend was Connie's devil. Works Cited "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?", by Joyce Carol Oates

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

1311 words - 5 pages Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is a modern interpretation of the classic narrative of evil tempting innocence. Oates’ version of the devil allegory combines this Christian model of temptation with contemporary secular society. Connie is a pretty fifteen year-old girl, beginning the process of maturation into adulthood. She begins to become aware of her ability to act of her own volition, but her naivete

Where Are You Going Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

1436 words - 6 pages The decisions that you make throughout life can make or break you; you just have to make the right ones. In Joyce Carol Oates story “Where Are Your Going Where Have You Been?”, the main character is Connie. Connie had an older sister but she was nothing like her. Her older sister always pleased her mom, and Connie did not care. Connie and her friend hang out and go to the shopping center or the movies. One day they decided that instead of

Similar Essays

The Magnanimity Of Wuthering Heights By Joyce Carol Oates

6706 words - 27 pages and Bonaparte). The way by which a masterpiece as unanticipated as Wuthering Heights comes to be written, involving, as it did, the gradual evolution from such early childish games to more complex games of written language (serial stories transcribed by the children in minute italic handwriting meant to resemble print; secret plays, or "bed plays," written at bedtime; the transcribing of the ambitious Gondal and Angria sagas, which were to be

Joyce Carol Oates Essay

2066 words - 8 pages interested in the seduction of the girls. Joyce Carol Oates was a creative writer and as such was not confined by the facts. The only things written in magazines were the current events. Charles Schmid was born on July 8, 1942; he was adopted by Charles and Katharine Schmid. He was said to be a bright and courteous boy. In school he didn't care much for learning. His grades were just above failing but he was very good at gymnastics. In 1960 he

Postmodernism And Joyce Carol Oates Essay

2009 words - 8 pages narrative, disunified subject, disrupted time sequence, and metanarrative are aspects of a story likely to only be found in the postmodern era and are all evident in this story by Joyce Carol Oates. They are all employed to create a jagged and modern tone, a feeling that this takes place inside the mind, and an interesting presentation of suspense. Studying postmodernism is interesting to me, because we are currently in the Postmodern era. One can

Structure In The Lady With The Pet Dog By Joyce Carol Oates

795 words - 3 pages Often, the circumstances of a marriage can leave the people involved feeling empty and unloved. These feelings of hopelessness can lead people to make uncharacteristic choices. Adultery, even in a marriage without love, can have a dramatic effect on the people involved. For the adulterous partner, the feelings of guilt and anxiety can often lead to overwhelming confusion. The short story "The Lady with the Pet Dog" by Oates, shows how the