Neglect and Decay in Joyce Carol Oates' Haunted Essay

Neglect and Decay in Joyce Carol Oates' Haunted Essay

Length: 686 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Neglect and Decay in Joyce Carol Oates' "Haunted"

“Things in the world even those built by man are so quiet left to themselves…” People futilely fight the decay of life and relationships in an attempt to find beauty and goodness in the world. Joyce Carol Oates masterfully illustrates this theme in her short story “Haunted.” Oates reveals the protagonist Melissa’s desperate struggle with looming forces like the physical environment, her twisted relationship with her best friend, and even the insanity in her own mind.

Oates utilizes imagery, symbols, and metaphors to show the downtrodden state of the countryside in which Melissa and Mary Lou live. Mentioning it several times throughout the story, Oates uses glass as a major symbol signifying the once beautiful structures which become ugly and useless in neglect. In all of the houses Melissa and Mary Lou explore, there is broken glass underfoot and windows which have been smashed. “Slippery like water,” the glass foreshadows the danger of Melissa’s mind finally shattering. Oates also describes Mary Lou’s eyes as blue “lik...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Search For Independence By Joyce Carol Oates

- The Search for Independence The short story, Where are you going. Where have you been. Written by Joyce Carol Oates is about a young girl, fifteen of age. Who is vulnerable and occupied with her physical looks, yet has a lot of confidence in herself also because of her pretty looks. Connie always has conflicts with her family, especially with her mother because she thinks that her mother mistreats her due to her pretty looks and always have comments about everything she does. She hates the idea of her mother always comparing her to her big sister, June, who is 24 years old, with hideous looks....   [tags: Joyce Carol Oates, Short story, Adult]

Better Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

Where Are You Going Where Have You Been By Joyce Carol Oates Essay

- In the Short story “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been” written by Joyce Carol Oates we are introduced with the protagonist of the story Connie a fiffteen year old girl. Connies character is a teenage girl who views herself as an adult who pays little attention to authority given by her parents. Connie continuously disobeys her parents and thanks to her “goodie-goodie” older sister is allowed to go out late at night. The story begins with Connie 's mother scolding at her for admiring herself in the mirror....   [tags: Fiction, Short story, Joyce Carol Oates]

Better Essays
2118 words (6.1 pages)

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been By Joyce Carol Oates Essay

- Age plays a major role in overall mental maturity. In the short story, “Where are you going, Where have you been” by Joyce Carol Oates, describes how a young naïve teenage girl gets herself in a peculiar situation. The fifteen-year-old girl meets a few older guys that appear to look younger but are not. Connie experiences a traumatic moment when she encounters an older stalker and doesn’t know what to do. At that moment, Connie was easily manipulated and persuaded. As a growing teenager, she yearned for the attention of older guys; which put her in situations in which she was not mature enough to understand what was happening....   [tags: Joyce Carol Oates, Short story, Adolescence]

Better Essays
1277 words (3.6 pages)

Attempts to Connect in Joyce Carol Oates' Shopping Essay

- Attempts to Connect in Shopping Although Shopping, written by Joyce Carol Oates, is fiction, the story portrays a relationship that represents many parents and children have in real life.  The child is growing up and wants to spread her wings.  However, the parent usually does not want to let go.  Arguments and the awkward silences are frequent. The seemingly useless attempts to connect with the son or daughter are also frequent.  Yet, what the child does not realize is that no matter how old she may get, she is still the parent s child.  The mother is not going to forget how precious her little baby is, yet that is what the mother does in this story.  Oates uses references to pregnancy t...   [tags: Joyce Carol Oates Shopping Essays]

Better Essays
848 words (2.4 pages)

Analysis Of Joyce Carol Oates 's ' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been '

- “ An Incarnation of evil “ Joyce Carol Oates short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” follows the story of a 15-year-old girl, in the summer of the late 1960’s named Connie; who loves to act older than she actually is. And by doing this, she attracts the wrong kind of attention, in other words, she succumbs to her own vanities and insecurities. It is clear that the portrayal of Arnold Friend represents an incarnation of evil or Satan himself, who tries to lure Connie into his world of sex, drugs, and false promises....   [tags: Joyce Carol Oates, Short story, Devil]

Better Essays
1235 words (3.5 pages)

Mother and Daughter Relationship Exposed in Joyce Carol Oates Short Story, Shopping

- Mother and Daughter Relationship Exposed in Joyce Carol Oates' Short Story, Shopping The relationship between a mother and a daughter is one of complications, heartaches, and sweet rewards.  This is no exception between Nola and Mrs. Dietrich, characters in "Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates.  The tribulations of their relationship are shown during their annual shopping trip.  In the time spent together, Nola is obviously trying to break free from her mother and become her own woman.  This coming-of-age path is expressed by her "private thoughts" and  "answers in monosyllables" (Oates 834).  As Nola desperately tries to acquire her own self, her Mrs....   [tags: Joyce Carol Oates Shopping Essays]

Better Essays
1021 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Joyce Carol Oates' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

- Joyce Carol Oates' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been.      Joyce Carol Oates was born in 1938 in Lockport, New York. She started writing very young and that the age of fifteen she submitted her first novel, but it was rejected for being 'too dark';. This style of writing is common on many of her works including 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'; Oates graduated from Syracuse University and then went on to get her master's degree from the University of Wisconsin. Oates 'turned much often in her writing to everyday characters, which she often placed in situations that were both psychologically and socially terrifying.'; (Short Stories For Students 258) Where Are You Going, Whe...   [tags: Joyce Carol Oates Where Going Been Essays]

Better Essays
1540 words (4.4 pages)

Ethics of Oates' Landfill Essay

- An Ethical Origin Writers have always drawn inspiration from real events for their stories. Joyce Carol Oates is now being criticized as unethical for just that. The critics claim that it was not ethical for Oates to use the events that befell John Fiocco Jr. in her story "Landfill", and also for including many similarities between Fiocco and her main character Hector Campos Jr.. Though there are some similarities between the two, the differences were great enough that only some who knew of the Fiocco case....   [tags: Joyce Carol Oates]

Free Essays
1049 words (3 pages)

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

- Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates Is Arnold Friend the Devil in disguise in Joyce Carol Oates' short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" If one were to look at the facts surrounding the actual event this story was based on, any assumption that "Friend" was anything but a man would be thrown out due to logic. However, if one were to look at the story alone, he could concede that Friend is indeed the Devil or at least the Devil's angel. First, there is the physical description of Arnold Friend....   [tags: Papers Joyce Oates Going Essays]

Better Essays
612 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on The Haunted Palace

- The Haunted Palace “The Haunted Palace” is one of Edgar Allen Poe’s mysterious and phantasmagoric poems. Written in the same year as “The Devil in the Belfry,” and included in his short story “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Haunted Palace” is another tale of innocence and happiness now corroded with sorrow and madness. It is fairly easy to say that “The Haunted Palace” is a metaphor for Poe’s own ghostly troubled mind, more than it is about a decaying palace. For in 1839, it was found in a book that the main character in “The Fall of the House of Usher” comes across....   [tags: Poe Haunted Palace Essays]

Better Essays
864 words (2.5 pages)