High Lonesome By Joyce Oates Character Analysis

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In many of the short stories written by Joyce Carol Oates, the seemingly normal narrators are actually completely unreliable. Oates deceives the reader into thinking the narrator is trustworthy through giving a twisted plot which seems like a flashback. However, by the end of the story, the reader can see just how little the narrator should be trusted. Edgar Allen Poe said “A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.” The mood in “High Lonesome” is vengeance and Daryl wants to achieve it. Each sentence leads up to revealing the truth, Daryl wants vengeance. In “High Lonesome,” the narrator, Daryl, seems reliable. He seems to be telling the story of the deaths of Pop Olafsson and Drake. Yet, in the end it is revealed that Daryl actually killed Drake to avenge Pop’s death. The rearrangement of plot events in “High Lonesome” contributes to the disorganized nature of the narrator through creating mystery, giving pieces of information, and revealing the narrator’s true colors in the end. Mystery can be a very important piece off a great story. By adding mystery, the author grabs the reader and pulls their mind into a world of…show more content…
Oates begins to reveal the truth about them. In “High Lonesome,” Daryl, the narrator, begins to seem sketchy when the story says “Why're you so angry, Daryl girls would ask sort of shivery and wide-eyed. Skin’s so hot it’s like fever. Like this is a way to worm into my soul. You ain’t going to hurt me, Daryl, are you? Hell no it ain’t in Daryl McCracken’s nature to hurt any girl” (Oates 139). This comes completely out of nowhere and has seemingly no cohesion to the story. This happens a few times throughout “High Lonesome.” Random bits about Daryl being kind and trustworthy that are out of nowhere. The fact that they lack cohesion to the rest of the story makes them jump out as if they are there to throw the reader
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