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ERIC Number: ED085814
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Indeterminacy and Dissonance: An Approach to Violence in the Writings of Joyce Carol Oates.
Mesinger, Bonnie
The "indeterminate" quality of Oates' writing is an asset to the oral interpreter. It demands reader participation and allows the text to become real. The imagery of violence, however, presents special problems. Upon encountering violence in the writing, the reader may experience what Leon Festinger terms "cognitive dissonance." Festinger describes this situation as the result of a person's encounter with information that contradicts his experience or that he wants to avoid, creating a psychological imbalance. According to C. William Colburn, a persuasive message should offer some recommendation which, if accepted, will restore cognitive equilibrium. In much of her literature, Oates offers such recommendations or at least a moral resolution of the material. The indeterminate quality of this resolution, however, demands sensitivity and imagination on the part of the reader. (LL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
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Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A