Joyce Carol Oates Black Water Analysis

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One of Joyce Carol Oates’ best-selling books is her novel Black Water, which tells the story about a woman becoming trapped underwater from a car accident. It received tons of acclaim during its time of publication (1992), but unfortunately, most of the book’s elements fail maintain their praise-worthy values in the current generation of reading and writing. Oates does succeed in building tension whenever the conflict arises, painting sharp images of each setting, and utilizing figurative language to support the imagery for each scene. However, a majority of the novel consists of drawn-out sentences with containing specific details, and they completely undermine all the great elements of her story. Basically, the whole structure of the story leads to an incredibly slow pace, a lack of imagination for the readers, and a load of redundancy. One noticeable characteristic of Black Water is that Oates tends to devote at most a few pages to…show more content…
While the examples from chapter fourteen were sentences as long as a paragraph, the tenth chapter is only one sentence that’s two pages long (Oates 34-35) and most of the later chapters contain sentences that take up at least a page (such as the ones on pages 63-64, 70-71, and 126). This seemed like a unique and artsy method of storytelling at the time, but modern readers will quickly lose interest as they read the massive walls of text, especially if it contains pointless information and specific details that stop them from using their imaginations. Overall, Black Water is neither an enjoying nor an engaging novel. Joyce Carol Oates uses overly-detailed, and ultimately nonessential, sentences that detract the story of its creativity and prolong it to the point of boring readers. She should follow Stephen King’s advice from On Writing and “omit needless words” (King
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