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We Were the Mulvaneys

We Were the Mulvaneys

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It is a poignant moment, one that gives some closure to some family members, but it still leaves unanswered questions: Patrick is still missing after having abducted a man at gunpoint years earlier, and Marianne's relationship with Dr. Her penchant for the occasional run-on sentence gives me uneasy flashbacks to reading Absalom, Absalom! Such legitimating and disciplinary attributes of narrative have been connected to the unconscious of narrative, to oedipal sources. Although Oates skips years in the lives of her characters, she lets readers know, when the story has unraveled, exactly where the events of the story have led each of them.

A formative episode from her childhood occurred when she and her mother were in a car accident in a blizzard when she was seven: they walked through the snow and became lost, and probably would have frozen if their way were not lit by a swarm of fireflies. The aftereffects of the assault harden into a pattern of withdrawal and self-sabotage which assures Marianne's future unhappiness. Oates eloquently employs daily details, cataloguing Corinne's antiques, mapping Patrick's Ithaca jogging route, calculating the number of paint gallons required to spruce up High Point Farm. It can be hard to care about Judd, our narrator, when the stories of the rest of his family are much more interesting–the lion’s share of his involvement in the main story is intertwined with Patrick’s story.Perhaps Oates is suggesting that a positive outlook provides the energy necessary to transform one's life. The aftermath of the event drives different family members into isolation, alcoholism, and a revenge scheme that includes kidnapping and murder.

Joyce Carol Oates was born on June 16, 1938, in Lockport, a small town in rural western New York State, similar to the setting of many of her works, including We Were the Mulvaneys. As a response to trauma and loss, alcohol is a self-medicating insulation in the present moment serving as a barrier to unbearable pain. He experiences Green Isle Co-op for himself on a trip there with his mother, and he knows more than anyone else about Patrick's plan to abduct Zachary Lundt because Patrick has involved Judd in the plan.

Oates's eye for detail and understanding of the emotions of damaged and fragile human beings allow readers to follow six individuals on their separate paths while never losing sight of what makes each one of them a Mulvaney. The Mulvaneys are not able to maintain their group identification as prosperous and successful once an attack intrudes and injures one of the family members. As of April 2023, [update] Mulvaney has more than 10 million followers on TikTok, [1] while her video series, Days of Girlhood, has received over one billion views.

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