Oates Three Girls

598 Words3 Pages
The Roles of Women in, “Three Girls” by Joyce Carol Oates In the story “Three Girls” by Joyce Carol Oates, the author uses the characters to define women in several ways. Three girls hide their individualities because they live in a world that is not ready to except their true identities. Oates places Marilyn Monroe, into the story to introduce the sexuality between the two young girl-poets. Their encounter with someone like Marilyn Monroe brings romance to their concealed relationship. In this era, Marilyn Monroe, the celebrity, was the epitome of a woman. Marilyn Monroe’s disguise symbolizes the hidden romance and the sexuality of the two NYU poets. The three girls face embarrassment, discrimination, and the risk of exposure to society. The story takes place in New York City at “Strand Used Books,” where two girl-poets spend most of their day browsing the poetry section. The girls notice a person dressed almost like a man, wearing a man’s navy over coat, beige boater hat, and black slacks pushed into her discolored cowboy boots. The two girls awkwardly look at the celebrity while trying not to catch anyone’s attention. Marilyn Monroe’s disguise fails to fool the two girls because they were all dressed the same. The narrator states, “This figure more resembled us (almost) than she resembled her Hollywood image” (Oates 94). Oates…show more content…
Marilyn Monroe uses her disguise for privacy and to avoid any undesirable attention. However, the two girl-poets use the same type of disguise to avoid showing their true lesbian feelings for one another in a society that is unable to except it. During this time period (1956) of this story, society highly discriminated against relationships of the same sex. The two girls were annoyed at the fact that Marilyn Monroe thought she could be like them. The two girls thought it was rather dangerous of Marilyn Monroe to appear in public without someone with
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