While reading the narrative “ Haunted ” by Joyce Carol Oates the writer lured me into a head writhing enigma that left me oppugning what I had merely read. At first the author seems to merely be stating a shade narrative from childhood about herself and her best friend Mary Lou whom she has a upseting friendly relationship with, but shortly into the narrative her clip frame alterations and she uses a sense of disenchantment to capture your attending. What I thought the narrative was about, and what I anticipated to go on was wholly different than what the writer had in head. Joyce Carol Oates does a fantastic occupation in making the chief character Melissa who may or may non hold encountered a shade. The thought of psychological science comes to mind when reading this type of Gothic or postmodernism literature. The narrative has many turns and bends particularly when Melissa speaks of being older, it keeps you thinking and inquiring what is traveling to go on next.
When I foremost started reading this narrative I thought that these two misss merely loved traveling in haunted houses merely like my friend and I did when we were immature. There was a large difference though between Melissa and Mary Lou ‘s friendly relationship compared to mine and my best friend. The misss were really disobedient and explored the old places even after being warned by their parents. Mary Lou was non sort to Melissa, and she had a foul oral cavity “ Mary Lou had a fresh oral cavity ” ( Oates ) . Melissa stayed friends with Mary Lou even though she was rude to her and cursed her. It makes me inquire why psychologically person is so average to person they care about. I had this image in my caput of two best friend ‘s, one very reasonably and one merely somewhat less attractive running about and researching as kids do. Then Joyce Carol Oates skilfully throws in a turn and I all of a sudden see where Melissa ‘s head seems to be stealing off. She is older and stating how she used to read narratives to her kids. She seems to non desire to state them a narrative she knows, but a narrative from a book alternatively for fright her voice will frighten her kids “ Once upon a clip I ‘d get down, reading from a book because it was safest so ” ( Oates ) . What is confounding is the fact that I am non certain these are narratives from her yesteryear, or if these are narratives that she has made up in her head.
Psychology may hold non been a large subject in the yesteryear but after reading this narrative the term decidedly comes to mind as it may with other postmodernism literature. Today if person claims to see a shade, or is holding mental issues they go see a Psychologist. Melissa goes to the Minton farm entirely and is seemingly confronted by a shade who makes her lie down on an old mattress and take her penalty. The shade wants to penalize Melissa with a switch for intruding. The shade is a adult female and “ her eyes were little, wrinkling smaller, black and moist ” ( Oates ) . When I read this I thought she has schizophrenic disorder or was woolgathering while kiping in this abandoned place. So many inquiries come to my head when reading this. It is difficult to state whether it is a dream or world. The writer leaves you inquiring if this may hold been something that truly happened to her as a kid, or if this is merely a character who ‘s head has deteriorated. Later, Mary Lou is found murdered and cipher knows who is guilty. It made me inquire if the shade someway did it, or some vagrant. Joyce Carol Oates is a talented narrator that knows how to take the narrative in a whole new way to maintain the reader ‘s attending.
Melissa speaks of her life now as an old adult female, and she seems to be lonely and isolated after the loss of her hubby. I feel like she may hold some bitterness towards her kids because she states, “ My kids are scattered and busily absorbed in their ain selfish lives ” ( Oates ) . She lives in isolation where cipher comes to see or see her. I think if you live entirely with no contact with other persons your head can play games on you. One portion of the narrative that truly catches my attending and leads me to believe that Melissa does hold a type of mental upset is when she sees the face float out of the mirror. This of class could be her face as an old adult female, or it could hold something to make with split personality. She may besides be seeing the shade she remembers seeing many old ages ago. I am certain Melissa thinks of her friend frequently that she was so close to many old ages ago. Even though Mary Lou was rough towards her, Melissa still thought of her as her sister. Melissa ‘s ain female parent could non rupture the two misss apart. Losing person you love can hold a immense consequence on your head and your felicity.
Melissa seems confused with the information from her yesteryear that she has jotted down on her paper. She may believe that by composing it all down that it may do more since to her, but alternatively she is still lost. I think she feels as if life is supposed to be some sort of fairy narrative, but the narrative of her life is far from it. I am certain she still has many unreciprocated inquiries about her memories, and what happened to Mary Lou. Joyce Carol Oates is really gifted when it comes to grotesque distorted narratives like this. It makes you question the saneness of the characters involved, and if they have psychological jobs. I know that there are non many writers who can capture person ‘s attending like this, and go forth them desiring to cognize more. I love a happy stoping to narratives and films, but after carefully reading over this I have a new regard for enigmas. Childhood memories stick with us throughout our lives, some are great and some we wish we could wipe out. I wonder if Melissa was truly haunted by a shade, or was she haunted by her ain head.