In Hiding

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mett9464
Words 457
Pages 2
Joyce Carol Oates’ short story “In hiding” is about a woman who is working as a poet, translator and part-time college teacher. Furthermore, she is a single Mother of a fifteen-year-old son. Suddenly she finds herself in an unusual relationship whit an inmate at Kansas State Penitentiary for Men in Fulham, Kansas who is sentenced to life. They have never met in real life and suddenly she just receives a letter from a man who goes from being number AT339I4 to Woody. He sends her poems and diary excerpts because he wants to be a writer himself.
Their odd relationship starts to grow. It is not romantic or sexual, but it is described as they are dating in a strange way. He tells her a lot about himself and she is holding back. “…he would know a good deal about her. More than se was comfortable whit him knowing, in fact.”
When he doesn’t write to her as much as he did before she starts wondering: “Had he found another correspondent?” Even though, she is holding back, she still kind of describes that their relationship is special to her and not just an exchange of poetry. “She thought I should break this off with him. This isn’t a wise thing.” The individualization is seen many times in the story. First of all we never get her name which really shows that she don’t have any identity. Woody makes her question a lot of things especially the question about whether she is a racist or not. “She wondered if she was, unknowingly, a racist?” This question shows that that there are things about herself that she doesn’t know, maybe because of the individualization – she is somehow in a lake of an identity and therefore she doesn’t know about her attitude to different questions in life. She loves her son who is kind of the only one she has and therefore she often makes her choices after what she thinks he would prefer. Also, her son seems to be everything that she is not.…...

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