Joyce Carol Oates Writing Styles in Four Summers

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Point of View

Point of view refers to the perspective from which a story is told. Oates uses a first-person point of view, as Sissie narrates the events of four summers. In these events, Sissie, the story's "I," is alternately observer and participant. Sissie is not, however, Oates herself but a character Oates creates to relay ideas about growing up in a working-class American family. Sissie is a reliable narrator insofar as her actions, language, and perceptions reflect her age in the story's parts. However, her descriptions must be read in light of her character, which both influences and is influenced by those around her. Other stories in The Wheel of Love are told using second-and third-person points of view. In the latter, the narrator presents action without commenting on it and without insight into characters' thoughts; in the former, the narrator uses the pronoun "you" as if addressing...

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This section contains 437 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Four Summers Study Guide
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Gale
Four Summers from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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