Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart.
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Like many of Oates's novels, Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart can be read as a coming-of-age story in a society where too many adolescents grow up surrounded by violence. The novel will prompt discussion of the violence and racism that continue to mark the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. Some will object to Oates's language and her graphic depictions of violence, but rather than dismiss her because of this, readers would do well to ask why Oates offends them, and perhaps even wants to offend them.

1. Oates takes the title of her novel from the beast's words in a Stephen Crane poem. What do you think the beast means when he says that he eats his heart "Because it is bitter/And because it is my heart"? Why do you think Oates chose this title?

2. How...

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This section contains 378 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart Study Guide
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Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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