Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart Writing Style & Techniques

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As in You Must Remember This, Oates creates the atmosphere of the 1950s and 1960s by numerous references to popular culture and political movements: Jack Palance and Ava Gardner; Hell's Angels and "Great Balls of Fire"; the Kennedy assassination that precipitates the opportunity for Iris being attacked and that, along with the Vietnam War, is the central metaphor for the character of the twentieth century.

Oates cuts back and forth between families. Iris is at the center of the Courtney family and connects it to the Garlock and Savage families; Jinx is at the center of the Fairchild family, which Oates examines less closely than the Courtneys. Perhaps this is because she feels better able to fictionalize a white, female experience than a black, male experience. She juxtaposes Iris's upward mobility against the downward mobility of most of the other characters. With its quick...

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This section contains 207 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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