International Journal of English Literature and Culture

International Journal of English Literature and Culture

Vol. 2(10), pp. 233-240, October, 2014

 ISSN: 2360-7831

DOI: 10.14662/IJELC2014.068


A Confusion between Hope and Self-Invention in the Fiction of Joyce Carol Oates


Dorota Horvathova


School of English, University of Leicester, UK. E-mail: dh193@le.ac.uk,  dorotahhh@gmail.com 


Accepted 20 October 2014


Oates’s aspirational characters desire a new identity in which they re-invent themselves. The act of re-birth is portrayed by distinctive symbols of awakening into a new identity, or by the use of the Phoenix image, which, in Oates’s work is influenced by Nietzsche’s theory of superman and its re-creation. Nietzsche’s concept of re-invention is evident in the isolation and abolition of morality in Oates’s characters. Thus Blonde depicts destructive re-creation influenced by Nietzsche whilst Wonderland and The Gravedigger’s Daughter, where the Christian influence is prevalent, instead shows its version of constructive re-creation. Oates juxtaposes a person’s re-creation through God, which symbolizes light, with its dark alternative.


Key words: re-creation, re-invention, morality, spirituality, superman, Phoenix image, identity, hope


Cite This Article As: Horvathova D (2014). A Confusion between Hope and Self-Invention in the Fiction of Joyce Carol Oates. Inter. J. Eng. Lit. Cult. 2(10): 233-240




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Inter. J. English Lit. Cult.

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