Joyce Carol Oates's They All Went Away

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They All Went Away, By Joyce Carol Oates, is a powerful, fervent essay. This beautifully written essay not only reminds us of the importune of the roles a parent plays in our lives, but also brought back many memories for myself. Threw her journey of exploring empty abandon houses, creatively perceiving the stories that are whispered what these walls have seen, she revisits memories herself of a family she once knew. A memory of a family that she view from afar that exposed her to the devastating horror of an abusive household. Oates paints a vivid picture of everyone in this home. “There was no romance in Mr. Weidel, whom my father knew only slightly and despised as a drinker, and as a wife-and child-beater.” (Page: 247) Through the memories…show more content…
From the horrible nightmares of an abusive stepfather, to having a friend that lived across the street also having an unstable household. His name was Steven, and he always exhibited weird behaviors, like telling stories that we all knew were not true. At my young age I could not understand why he acted the way he did, but my mother always encouraged me to be nice to him and show love. Now as an adult I see that was his way of screaming for some kind of control in his life because of the abuse behind the closed-door. Like so many mothers, Steven’s mom did not leave her alcoholic husband, just as Mrs. Weidel, but…show more content…
No matter what the reason is, woman like Mrs. Weidel, and Steven’s mother just can’t get away on her own. Fortunately for me my mother was able to leave and for years we were on our own. My mother suffers from the imprisonment of abuse that was learned at an early age by the hand of her mother, and later ended up with another abuse man. Not as intense or sick as the first husband, but the cycle continued. “As a woman and as a writer, I have long wondered at the wellsprings of female masochism. Or what, in despair of a more subtle, less reductive phase, we can call the congeries of predilections toward self-hurt, self-erasure, self-repudiation in woman.” (Page 252) I want to know more, I want to help, but most important I never want my children to ever find themselves in any home of abuse. A fun, growing, learning, nurturing, exciting, and loving childhood is what I strive to give them. Cited Work Best American Essays, They All Just Went Away. By Joyce Carol Oates (pages 241-255) Susan McGee

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