A Literary Analysis Of 'Where Is Here' By Joyce Oates

620 Words3 Pages
The story “Where is Here” ,written by Joyce Oates, begins when a man goes to look at the house he grew up in. He knocks on the door and the dad invites him in, but he declines and just walks around the outer parts of the house. While he is walking outside, the mom of the house tells him to come inside and walk around. The house brings back many good and bad memories that help the reader piece together the strange man's past. The short story, “Where is Here,” has a bleak setting, tortured characters, and supernatural events which help make it an American gothic piece. The first example of this story being an American gothic is the creepy setting. Oates describes the setting as, “A quiet residential neighborhood… one November evening at dusk.” This quote describes what the neighborhood the family is living in. This…show more content…
One reason the man may have been a ghost is when he said, “We’ve all been dead” (Oates). The man had said this when the mom apologized for asking about his mother who had passed. Nobody just says that they have been dead, which hints to the fact that he may be a ghost. When the man walked up the stairs, this is how the family described it, “It was as if a force of nature, benign at the outset, now controllable, had swept its way into their house!” (Oates). This quote makes it clear that the way the man has come into their house is very supernatural. Both of these quotes make it apparent that the man is not like everyone else.
In conclusion, the story “Where is Here” fits in with American gothic literature. The story clearly has a bleak and gloomy setting. The story also has tortured characters which helps to fit the story into an American gothic story. The last indication that this story is an American gothic is the supernatural part of the story. Because “Where is Here” has all of these things, it is clear that the story is an American
Open Document