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Author Analysis: Joyce Carol Oates

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Rebecca Hoehn

on 19 May 2014

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Transcript of Author Analysis: Joyce Carol Oates

Author Analysis: Joyce Carol Oates
Violence and Death
Adolescent Girls
Three Threads:
The Dark Side of Human Nature
"It seems disingenuous to ask a writer why she, or he, is writing about a violent subject when the world an history are filled with violence." - Oates
Astounding amount of literature
56 Novels
8 Poetry Volumes
30 Short Story Collections
Book Reviews
Non-Fiction etc.
Influential Lifetime
Born 1936 NY - Depression era farm
Child during tail end of WWII
Lived through entire Cold War
Teen in the 50's
Revolution of the 60's
Change of the 70's and 80's
Multiculturalism and the rise of the media
90's and 2000's
Experiences tie to literature:
Analyzed Literature:
Short Stories
"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
"In the Region of Ice"
Three threads:
Theme- The dark side
of human nature
Event- Violence and Death
Character- Adolescent Girls

Connection to Lifetime:
Literature Connections:
Connection to Lifetime:
Literature Connections:
Literature Connections:
"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
After the WRECK, I Picked Myself UP, Spread My WINGS, and FLEW AWAY
Life and literature combine into one:
Oates draws inspiration from personal experience and personal views of society.
Oates writes stories with similar aspects, all of which tie to the dark and gruesome realities of life.
The Dark Side of Human Nature
Violence and Death
Adolescent Girls
"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
After the WRECK, I Picked Myself UP, Spread My WINGS, and FLEW AWAY
After the WRECK, I Picked Myself UP, Spread My WINGS, and FLEW AWAY
"In the Region of Ice"
"In the Region of Ice"
Cold War
Lived in Detroit 1962-1968
Led to darker perspective of the world.
Mental Instability-
deuteragonist is unstable
parents send to mental hospital

Painful Experiences-
horrifying experience in hospital
protagonist tries to help
deuteragonist commits suicide
Mental Manipulation-
Man manipulates protagonist
Uses his words to disorient her
Exploits her mental weaknesses
Dark Outcome-
Man is able to convince protagonist to go with him
Taken away to certain doom
Car crash sends life spiraling
Survivors guilt
Falls away from those she loves
Gets involved with drugs and alcohol
Human Injury-
Mother is killed in wreck
Friend is brutally molested
Can't Trust Anyone-
Best of people can do the worst of things
Appearances don't always live up to actions
Violence Comes Unexpectedly-
Twin girls brutally murdered
Young, sweet boy
Mental instability
1967 Race Riots
43 people killed
1,189 people injured
3rd most violent uprising in American history
Allows for graphic depictions of violence and death.
Shock Treatments
Hypodermic shots
Car wreck
Graphic wounds
Fight scenes
Violent outburst at party
Ending left open
Reader can assume something terrible happened
Loosely based on Charles Schmid
Two counts of murder
Murder never described
Crime scene and events leading up described
Left open for reader to imagine
Self centric teen
Family issues
Falls into difficult situation
Inexperience leads to demise
Adolescent naivety
Teen falls into downward spiral
Family issues
Gets involved with bad people, drugs, alcohol
Cant remove herself from situation
Adolescent naivety
Inability to handle trauma
Naivety leads to demise
Trust their killer
Unable to use better judgement
Ignore warning signs
Naivety, personal issues, and inability to make important judgements in difficult situations link the personalities of characters.
Full transcript