The Girls Essay

Joy Williams (writer)
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Dyer holds a Ph.D. in English literature and has published extensively on fiction, poetry, film, and television. He is also a freelance university teacher, writer, and educational consultant. In the following essay, he discusses “The Girls” as a story of dislocation and almost pathological insularity, showing its similarity to earlier stories by Poe and Faulkner.

The short story as a compressed narrative is a form particularly well suited to explore small worlds to explore the lives of individuals and communities that are closed off from the larger world. The catalogue of famous stories that deal with these small worlds includes Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839), William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” (1930), and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” (1948). Each of these antecedents is a story about a dangerous stasis...

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This section contains 1,773 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Girls Study Guide
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