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We Were the Mulvaneys

We Were the Mulvaneys

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Cataract is the highest at 2,300 feet above sea level, chalky at its peak, visible on clear days though it’s thirty miles away. Ephraim, past the Mulvaney Roofing building, through the streets she knew as a child, and past High Point Farm, realizing how removed she is now from it all. West has just been mentioned, leaving open the possibility that she may repeat with him the self-sabotaging choices she made in previous relationships. Oates shows that Michael is a likely candidate for alcoholism even if the rape had not occurred and triggered his behavior. Marianne internalizes the blame for the rape, feeling that she is just as responsible as Zach Lundt was for what happened because she was drinking in his car.

We Were the Mulvaneys begins in the voice of the youngest member of the family, Judd Mulvaney, who serves as narrator intermittently throughout the novel. Such legitimating and disciplinary attributes of narrative have been connected to the unconscious of narrative, to oedipal sources. The text centers on an ideal nuclear family consisting of mother, father, three sons, and a daughter. Though New York City is a huge and densely populated urban center, much of New York State is rural farmland. was a football star, Marianne was a cheerleader, Patrick had top academic honors, and Judd, born considerably later, was the treasured youngest of the family.As in Dostoevsky, her characters seethe and roil, actuated by unconscious manias and half-uttered desires; as in Lawrence, she sets the human drama in its natural frame, amid animal heat, stony cliffs, sucking bogs, killing winds, as if to say that we are a part of nature—of its hideous violence as of its pastoral beauty or poetic sublimity—and shouldn’t fool ourselves otherwise. His pretty, quirky wife, Corinne, proves her talent for family choreography by raising four charmed kids: Mike Jr. It’s a stumble that floats back into your vision every time the third person switches to first without warning. Audacious speculation is nothing new for Oates, one of our best contemporary novelists, who combines a nineteenth-century political and moral range with a twentieth-century psychoanalytic sensibility.

Although the remote area discussed in the novel is not directly affected by the flight of city dwellers from urban centers, it is part of the same desire, which began in the 1960s, a longing to escape man-made environments and enjoy a spacious, natural setting. It seems to have crested in the 1980s and ’90s—that Toni Morrison usurped Oates’s Nobel Prize was the opinion of even one distinguished black novelist, Charles Johnson—and then to have waned in the 2000s.

In this case, though, readers do not get a clear picture of the Mulvaney group persona because all of the facts are filtered through the consciousness of Judd, who tends to idealize the family, projecting onto it a fading greatness that may not have existed after all.

In his view, the Father, as a figure for origin and law, is the rationale for all storytelling: "If there is no longer a Father, why tell stories […]?He is a peaceful man who talks about helping the poor, extolling Christian principles while at the same time worrying about expanding the financial range of the co-op. The epilogue offers refreshing hope for both the reader and the Mulvaneys, but the novel certainly makes you work for it. 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. In the move beyond the Name of the Father in We Were the Mulvaneys, as well as other narratives, we read social change.

The aftereffects of the assault harden into a pattern of withdrawal and self-sabotage which assures Marianne's future unhappiness. In later life, she finds herself unable to deal with emotional attachments or responsibilities: when Abelove, whom she has had a crush on, declares his love and asks her to marry him, she runs away from the co-op without telling him, and when Penelope Hagström offers to promote her to an executive position in her charitable organization, Marianne again runs off without a word. 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.When Miss Hagström offers to elevate Marianne's position, to make her the associate director of the Hagström Foundation for the Arts in addition to being her personal assistant, Marianne finds the increased involvement uncomfortable and leaves her one night without saying goodbye to Miss Hagström. According to The Washington Post, the advertisement led figures in right-wing media, such as Fox News, to refer to Mulvaney in "disparaging and often in transphobic terms nearly a dozen times over the next three days". Such a politics dissolves the mystifications of power through the kindling, on all levels, of anti-oedipal forces […] forces that escape coding, scramble the codes […]. She is a sharp wit and is usually kind to Marianne, seeing in her the intelligence and capability which Marianne does not see in herself. From the beginning of her career, she garnered accolades from her peers, winning National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1966 and 1968; a Guggenheim fellowship in 1967; nominations for the National Book Award in 1968 and 1969; and an actual National Book Award in 1970.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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