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Downfall of the Family in We Were the Mulvaneys

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In the novel "We Were the Mulvaneys" by Joyce Carol Oates, the act of rape causes the Mulvaney family to become distant and silent. Since no one wants to talk about the violent event except the youngest son Judd, there were consequences. The consequences of not talking about it are dramatic. The family looses contact with each other, and becomes angry towards each other. However, Judd wants to talk about it, and understand what happened. Since he does want to talk about it, he keeps in contact with every family member, and consequently there is no anger towards him.

After Michael Mulvaney Sr., the father, find outs about the rape, he becomes starts to drink heavily, become silent and angry with his family and consequently he loses all connection to his family. When Michael Sr. found out who did this to his daughter, he broke Zachary Lundt's, the rapist, nose and cracked a couple of his ribs. Since Michael Sr. did that, he realized that he could not charge Zachary with sexual assault, without being charged himself. Michael soon realized that he screwed up, and shouldn't of went after Zachary. After the fight, Michael Sr. stopped coming home for dinner and always went for drives late at night. He started to drink a lot, too much, and kept on getting angrier. His attitude towards work changed too. He started showing up at jobs late and didn't care what his workers were doing. His business started to decrease and slowly he was going bankrupt. He failed to tell his wife Corinne important information, like their money, and how they were slowly losing it, and how he was angry all the time. He also started to avoid looking at his daughter Marianne, the victim, because he said: ."..I'm not strong enough, I'm a coward. How ca...

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... next day, Judd left. Judd did still however keep in contact with his mother, but refused to talk to his father. His mother tried to convince him to come home, but he refused and told her that he would still call and keep in touch, but just wouldn't live with them.

The Mulvaney family, in the end became close again. There was no distance and secrets between them. These events only happened because all the members of the Mulvaney family, except Judd, did not want to talk about the event. Since Judd was more open on the subject, he learned what he needed to, in order to understand what was happening to Marianne and the family. The rest of the Mulvaney family however, did not learn what they needed to, so that they understood, where each person's opinion was coming from. If the Mulvaney family had all reacted like Judd, they would have never been separated.
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