Foxfire By Joyce Carol Oates – Coursework Example

Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates Question Analysis of deceit The stream of consciousness enables the narrator to recreate past events. Currently, she is living quietly in New Mexico, where she works as an assistant astronomer. She relives her experiences as a young girl in school and as a member of an outlaw girl gang named foxfire. The narrator is able to both reveal and hide the truth through a clever use of language. As a young girl, she uses informal language: “And what the hell? Such truths FOXFIRE made softer…” (Oates, p7). Also, the name of the gang is presented in capital letters throughout the text. This suggests that the girls had no identity outside of the gang. The protagonist also hides but also reveals the truth about the motive of the gang. At the beginning, the narrator avers that the gang’s activities were not part of a revenge mission. Yet, as the novel progresses, she admits “we all wanted revenge, all of us not just Goldie.” Oates p275). One of the antagonists, Mr Buttinger, has a tendency of detaining Rita for disciplinary measures. However, he is only out to harass her sexually.
Question 2: Structural issues
Joyce Carol Oates adopts a non-linear plot structure in this novel. The story-line easily weaves between the past and the present. The narrator uses both present and past tense to slip into the past and back. This is evident when she says: “I was, I still am, Madeleine Faith Wirtz. In those days…” (Oates, p5). The story takes the usual arc: the formation of the gang and the eventual collapse of the group at the end of the text. It enhances the understanding of the theme of violence against women. The six girls come together under Leg’s leadership so as to fight male oppression.
Question3: Point of view
The novel switches between two points of view: the first person and the third person. By so doing, the author is able to relate the main characters to the main theme of the text, which is violence against women. This is evident in the character of Rita, who suffers sexual harassment at the hands of Mr. Buttinger and is also a victim of a gang rape by the Viscounts. The protagonists are the members of the Foxfire gang: Maddy, Legs, Rita, Lana among others. They form a gang to avenge their mistreatment at the hands of their male counterparts, who form the antagonists in the novel. The noel’s overall purpose is to present the plight of women in a male-dominated society.
Question 4: Thesis
A possible thesis for this novel states that the actions of all-girl Foxfire gang constitute a feminist reaction to a world heavily tilted against women. It is evident from the novel that most of the gang’s activities revolve around revenge. The girls are simply hitting back at the male members of the society for assaulting them in one way or the other. They humiliate Mr Buttinger for touching Rita inappropriately. They also beat up Wimpy for sexually harassing Maddy.
Works cited
Oates, Joyce Carol. Foxfire:Confessions of a Girl Gang. New York: Penguin, 1994. Print.