Joyce Carol Oates | Critical Essay by Pamela Smiley

This literature criticism consists of approximately 20 pages of analysis & critique of Joyce Carol Oates.
This section contains 5,751 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Pamela Smiley

Critical Essay by Pamela Smiley

SOURCE: Smiley, Pamela. “Incest, Roman Catholicism, and Joyce Carol Oates.” College Literature 18, no. 1 (February 1991): 38-49.

In the following essay, Smiley argues that Oates's frequent depiction of exploited and abused female characters can be better understood as effects of specific cultural conditions, particularly a background of Roman Catholicism and father-daughter incest.

Common in the fiction of Joyce Carol Oates is what I call her “feminine” character: the young woman who wanders into new territory (gets on a bus, walks down a street, gets off a bus, takes a graduate class) where she meets a man who victimizes her (he beats, rapes, exploits, deserts, forgets her). The terms of her victimization are most often violent and sexual, her control minimal, and her chances of repeating the pattern good. In fact, the woman seems almost...

(read more)

This section contains 5,751 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Pamela Smiley
Follow Us on Facebook