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Natalie Keller & Cori McGownd AN ANALYSIS OF JOYCE CAROL OATES’S EXCERPT FROM WE WERE THE MULVANEYS “Because I was happy upon the heath, And smiled among.

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Presentation on theme: "Natalie Keller & Cori McGownd AN ANALYSIS OF JOYCE CAROL OATES’S EXCERPT FROM WE WERE THE MULVANEYS “Because I was happy upon the heath, And smiled among."— Presentation transcript:

1 Natalie Keller & Cori McGownd AN ANALYSIS OF JOYCE CAROL OATES’S EXCERPT FROM WE WERE THE MULVANEYS “Because I was happy upon the heath, And smiled among the winter's snow, They clothed me in the clothes of death, And taught me to sing the notes of woe.” -Song of Experience: The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake

2 What Statement The author characterizes Judd Mulvaney as an innocent Romantic who shifts his perspective to an experienced Realist.

3 Overview Romanticism Other World Realist

4 Literary Elements Syntax Diction Juxtaposition Tone Shifts Repetition Use of Parentheses Foreshadowing Irony Symbolism Point of View Organization

5 Shifts in Syntax & Tone Proves Transition from Romanticism to Other World Line 1-8 “That time in our lower driveway, by the brook…Fast- flowing clear water, shallow, shale beneath, and lots of leaves.” Tone: Carefree – line 2“I was straddling my bike staring down into the water.” Line “I leaned farther and farther over the rail staring into the water and I was moving, moving helplessly forward, it seemed I was moving somehow upward, rising in the air, helpless.” Tone: Curious – line 15 “oh boy! we-ird! Scary and ticklish in the groin as I leaned farther…” RomanticOther Worldly

6 Repetitious Phrases Prove Innocence Line “I leaned farther and farther over the rail staring into the water and I was moving, moving helplessly forward, it seemed I was moving somehow upward, rising in the air, helpless.” Line 18 & 19 “helpless” “moving”

7 Lack of Repetition in the Realist Perspective Reflects the Character’s Loss of Innocence Of verbs: Lines “moving, moving” “farther and farther” Of Heartbeat Lines “ONEtwothree ONEtwothree!” “Every heartbeat is past and gone! Every heartbeat is past and gone!” About Death: Lines 34 “dying, dying, dying” Of knowledge: Lines 39 and 66 “I didn't know” “not to know what I knew” Repetition EarlierWithin the Realist World

8 Use of Parentheses Foreshadows Realism Line 9 – “The brook was flowing below left to right (east to west, though at a slant)” Line 11 – “and I stood immobile leaning on the railing (pretty damned rotten: I’d tell Dad it needed to be replaced with new planks, we could do it together)”

9 Use of Parenthesis Shows the Transition in Judd’s Perspective, But Also Emphasizes His Constant Struggle to Accept It Line “(Might as well buy our vehicles mud- colored to begin with, saves time, was dad’s logic)”

10 Irony Proves Shift from Romanticism to Realist Lifted off Earth to reassess his own life from new perspective Line “Though on a farm living things are dying, dying, dying all the time, and many have been named, and others are born taking their places not even knowing that they are taking the places of those who have died.”

11 Symbolism of the Heart & Diction Proves Life Line – “in that instant aware of my heart beating ONEtwothree! ONEtwothree! thinking Every heartbeat is past and gone!”

12 Point of View, Stream of Consciousness, & Organization Proves Transition Line – “Every heartbeat is past and gone! Every heartbeat is past and gone! In a trance that was like a trance of fury, raging hurt Am I going to die? because I did not believe that Judd Mulvaney could die.” 1 st Paragraph- stream of consciousness 2 nd Paragraph- “Them, too. All of them. Every heartbeat past and gone.” – Telegraphic

13 The Character’s Use of Tone & Voice Reflect His Shift in Perspective Line “aged” “rotted” “scared” “snag” “terrible” Line “mud-colored Ford pickup” “barreling up the drive, bouncing and rattling” “the truck’s doors were neat curving white letters” Tone Voice

14 Imagery Words are Used to Highlight the Differences Between the Romanticist World and Realist World. Lines “staring” “moving” “rising” “beating” “shiver” “thinking” Lines “neat” “curving” “mud-colored” “barreling” “bouncing” “rattling” Romanticist WorldRealist World Describes writing on the truck Describes color of the truck Describes actions of the truck Verbs used to describe Judd

15 The Commas, Semicolons, and Colons represent that the revelation of Judd’s Understanding of Death has Shifted his View Into a Realist One Lines “So I knew I wasn’t a dope, but I didn’t know– not really.” Line54-58 “And I looked after them, these two people so remarkable to me, my dad who was like nobody else’s dad and my big brother who was– well, Mike Mulvaney: ‘Mule’ Mulvaney– and the most terrible thought came to me.”

16 Dialogue is Used to Show Judd’s Connection to Reality and People. Line 51 “‘Hey Ranger-kid: what’s up?’”

17 How I Can Relate-- Death Great Grandmother dying while in elementary school Mr. Wade’s recent death Child ViewMatured View


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