them Essay

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In the following excerpt, Giles examines the debate over classification of Oates's writing, considering the views of those who declare it naturalism or romanticism, and Oates's own preference for the phrase "psychological realism. "

A unique tension, which has resulted in much critical confusion, runs throughout the fiction of Joyce Carol Oates. Attempts to define the philosophy and technique behind her novels have usually been limited and misleading. Critics and reviewers have primarily attempted to place her within the tradition of naturalism. However, while there are strong naturalistic overtones to her best work, she should not be seen solely as a Dreiser-Norris-Farrell naturalist. The charge of melodrama is frequently hurled at her. Of course, one isn't surprised, since melodrama has always been closely tied to American literary naturalism (e.g., the death of S. Behrman in The Octopus). The apparently melodramatic aspects of Oates's fiction have taken at least...

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This section contains 3,914 words
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Buy the them Study Guide
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