Research Paper Devil in Joyce Carol Oates Works

Topics: Joyce Carol Oates, Short story, Satan Pages: 4 (1682 words) Published: May 19, 2006
"The greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist" -Verbal Kint

"The spirit that I have seen may be a Devil, and the Devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape […] as he is very potent with such spirits, abuses me to damn me" (William Shakespeare). The Devil has been a theme in writings for decades; authors have played with the symbolism of the Devil in their characters to add depth to their writing. Joyce Carol Oates, an accredited short story writer, has received numerous awards for her works. Her writing style is captivating; grabbing the reader's undying attention as they enter her world; a world including violence, rape, murder, and the good ol' Devil in disguise. In her writing, the appearance of the Devil plays a very important role in the telling of her works.

The bible tells the tale of the Devil as being an Angel that went his separate way and was exiled by God for his immorality. He is characterized as a supernatural being able to take any shape or form. He has strong powers of deception and uses them to tempt his victims. He is a sinful creature who longs for lust and will steal, kill, and destroy for pride. He is the fountain of evil and the source of all sins. Heat, a short story by Oates, tells of twin girls, essentially the same in every aspect almost as if they were one person, getting murdered by a boy slightly older then them. At first glance the antagonist of the story seems to be the boy, Roger Whipple, obviously as the murderer he must represent evil and in turn the Devil. However, after closer examinations it is obvious that the girls are the Devil himself and force Roger's action. From the beginning, there is much satanic symbolism surrounding the twins that necessitate their evil. Oates' story begins by saying "They'd stolen six dollars from their own grandmother who loved them. (High Lonesome 543)" Underneath the fact that stealing from their grandmother doesn't shed good light on them there is a...

Bibliography: Ed. Kate Nichols. The Ontario Review Inc. 2006. 249-266
---, "The Knife" High Lonesome
Ed. Kate Nichols. The Ontario Review Inc. 2006. 557-572
---, "Heat" High Lonesome.
Ed. Kate Nichols. The Ontario Review Inc. 2006. 543-556
"Characteristics of Satan 's kingdom" 's_kingdom.htm. 2006.
"Satan" Wikipidia 1992.
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