This paper approaches two of Joyce Carol Oates’s short stories (“The Children” and “Feral”) from a Lacanian perspective on the tripartite structure of personality in an attempt to analyze questions of motherhood and the parent-child separation process. Although published 35 years apart both stories deal with mothers who have trouble containing their maternal attitude and children who become elusive entities for their parents. Utilizing as well the concept of what Oates has termed “realistic allegory” in the analysis of characters situated within highly specific settings and circumstances, the paper aims to shed light on Oates’s vision of the workings of individuals within contemporary society.
"Severing Ties: A Lacanian Reading of Motherhood in Joyce Carol Oates’s Short Stories "The Children" and "Feral","
Bearing Witness: Joyce Carol Oates Studies: Vol. 3
, Article 5.
Available at: http://repository.usfca.edu/jcostudies/vol3/iss1/5