Joyce Carol Oates b Going Short by mikeholy

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									 Today’s Discussion Topics: Marxist & Feminist
Criticism: John Updike’s “A & P” & Joyce Carol
Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You
                     Girls & Gadgets, Girls & “the Goods”
                     “Damaged Goods”?
                     Remember Marge Piercy‟s “Barbie Doll”
                      (G 647-48): “She was advised to play
                      coy, […] / So she cut off her nose and her
                      legs / and offered them up. // In the casket
                      displayed on satin she lay […] / Doesn‟t
                      she look pretty?, everyone said. /
                      Consummation at last. / To every woman
                      a happy ending” (12-25)
                     Also remember “My Last Duchess”
                      (woman as art object)
                     Woman as commodity
What Do Marxist Critics Do?
             Karl Marx (1818-1883)
             Frederic Jameson (1934-), famous American
              literary theorist & Marxist political theorist
             Terry Eagleton (1943-), famous British literary
              theorist, began his career very much interested in
              Marxist theory
             Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (1942-), famous
              Indian literary theorist, Marxist, teaches at
              Columbia University
             They ask: How could literature be considered as a
              battleground for individual gain? (See G 1289-90
              for review.)
             Characters as powerful oppressors and powerless
             What economic forces could be driving literary
              plots & themes?
             Writing and reading are acts of production and
             What external forces drive education, publication,
              and literary tastes?
What Do Feminist/Gender Critics Do?
                Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British modernist
                 novelist, essayist, short story writer
                Betty Friedan (1921-2006), American writer &
                 activist, author of The Feminine Mystique (1963)—
                 sparked 2nd wave feminism
                Gloria Steinem (1934-), American journalist, social &
                 political activist
                Naomi Wolf (1962-), American author & political
                 consultant, author of The Beauty Myth (1990)—
                 sparked 3rd wave feminism
                A literary critical lens often driven by political
                 interests in improving women‟s lot under patriarchy
                Has been around in some form ever since readers
                 became interested in gender roles; rose to prominence
                 in 1970s with women‟s lib movement
                They ask: How do literary texts demonstrate the
                 repression and oppression of women in different
                 periods and cultures?
                How do female literary characters overcome
                 oppression by sexist power structures?
                Rediscovery of women writers who have been
                 previously ignored
                Has broadened into gender criticism, which asks:
                 How are men‟s and women‟s socialized roles (ways
                 of thinking and behaving) displayed in literature?
“A & P” by John Updike (G 300-
                Why does Sammy quit work at
                 the A & P? Hormones? To
                 impress Queenie? Both?
                How could we apply a Marxist
                 critique to “A & P”?
                What is Sammy‟s attitude
                 toward the shoppers?
                What evidence can we find in
                 the text that he takes this
“A & P” John Updike (G 300-305)
             (The picture at left is made up of
              PLU [Price Look-Up] stickers that
              you find on produce.)
             Feminist criticism: What attitude
              toward women is implied by
              Sammy‟s attitude toward the girls,
              especially Queenie?
       Briefly back to “Araby”…
   An epiphany is: “[a]n appearance or
    manifestation, especially of a divine being”;
    Joyce adapted the term to secular use in 1944
    so it means “a sudden sense of radiance and
    revelation one may feel while perceiving a
    commonplace object; a moment or event in
    which the essential nature of a person, a
    situation, or an object is suddenly perceived, as
    at the end of Joyce‟s „Araby‟ (p. 101)” (G
Joyce Carol Oates (b. 1938)
              Extremely prolific American
               author—has written over 50
               novels, volumes of poetry, &
               collections of short stories
              Destructive forces and sudden
               violence major themes of her work
              Three-time recipient of the
               Pulitzer Prize (prestigious award
               for American letters & journalism)
“Where Are You Going Where Have
  You Been?” (1966) (G 318-332)
   YouTube video (13:25)
   Discussion Questions:
   1.) How does the protagonist of "Araby" and Sammy
    in "A & P" compare with Arnold Friend in "Where
    Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" What view
    does the narrator take of each? Identify prominent
    images and the themes they suggest.
   2.) Does Connie have anything like an epiphany in
    the Oates story? If so, can you find textual evidence
    of it? (For a definition of "epiphany," see p. 1361 in
    the Gardner anthology.) If so, how does it compare to
    the epiphany of the protagonist in "Araby”?
      What We’ve Done So Far with
           Literary Theory…

   Traditional & New
    Criticism (poetry)
   Psychological Criticism
    (Kevin‟s lecture on The
   Reader Response
    Criticism (Irina‟s lecture
    on “Araby”)
Postcolonial & Critical Race Theory
   Marxist & Feminist
    Criticisms (Prof. Ghosh‟s
    lectures & discussion
    section—“Araby,” “A & P,”
    & “Where Are You Going,
    Where Have You Been?”)
   Old & New Historicism
    (Kellye‟s lecture on “The
    Management of Grief”)
   Critical Race & Postcolonial
    Theory & Criticism (“You
    Can‟t Get Lost in Cape
    Town,” “Everyday Use”)
    Structuralism: another tool in the literary
                 critical toolkit
   Ferdinand de Saussure
    (1857-1913), Swiss linguist
    whose work laid the
    foundations of structuralism
   Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-
    2009), French
    anthropologist and
    ethnologist, “the father of
    modern anthropology”
   Roland Barthes (1915-
    1980), French literary
    theorist, critic, philosopher,
    & semiotician
   Structuralist Chickens &
“Traditional/New Critical” Eggs
                   The larger (cultural) structures of
                    which a text is a part; can include
                    specific cultural beliefs,
                    ideologies, literary forms (genre),
                    etc., which literary structuralists
                    are interested in.

                   The “text itself,” what traditional
                    literary critics focused upon
        Further Resources on Literary Theory &
   Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary
   Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: An
    Introduction to Literary and Cultural
    Theory. 2nd ed. Manchester: Manchester
    UP, 2002.
   The Penguin Dictionary of Literary
    Terms and Literary Theory. 4th ed. Ed.
    J.A. Cuddon. New York: Penguin, 2000.
   Culler, Jonathan. Literary Theory: A
    Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP,
   The Norton Anthology of Criticism and
    Theory. 2nd ed. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch,
    William E. Cain, Laurie Finke, and
    Barbara Johnson. New York: W.W.
    Norton & Co., 2001.

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