Joyce Carol Oates, I'll Take You There

Martin Kich (Wright State University)
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The title of this novel, Oates’s thirty-eighth, comes from a song performed by the Staples Singers, and, as the last line of the novel, it also provides rhetorical closure. The major character is a young woman who eventually goes by the name Anellia—though it is never really clear what her name is. In some ways, she is all too ordinary—having grown up on a farm near Strykersville, a small town near Buffalo, New York. But, in other ways, her background is anything but ordinary. She has been scarred by the early death of her mother from breast cancer and the subsequent disappearance of her father, and, to compound the trauma, she has been somehow implicitly blamed by her three older brothers for both events. Despite being raised by default by her grandparents, she becomes the…

1738 words

Citation: Kich, Martin. "I'll Take You There". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 March 2024 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

11691 I'll Take You There 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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