Character Analysis Of Zombie By Joyce Carol OatesZombie

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In Joyce Carol Oates’ Zombie, the main character, Quentin, never describes a good interaction with women growing up. He talks about hugging his mom when he was younger and wanting to avoid “press[ing] into her breast or belly or the soft place between her legs” (Oates 63). Going into his adult life, he becomes more uncomfortable around women. He only ever shows two emotions towards women: dismissive or aggressive. Whether he knows the woman or not does not matter, he shows nothing else towards her. With women Quentin knows his attitude does not change. He specifically says, “I wasn’t listening the way you don’t listen to females” (Oates 90) while his mother tried to talk to him. He dismisses her whenever they talk. It can be argued that…show more content…
He does not see her as a professional; he sees her as beneath him. Quentin gives hints that his dismissiveness stems from his youth. When a girl tries to talk to him at college, his inner thoughts are bitter. “Hi! Shell say like a high school cheerleader. Like the girls at Dale Springs High who looked through Q__ P__ those years like he didn’t exist” (Oates 78). He does not even try to converse with her just because she comes across like the girls from his high school. No matter the woman, Quentin does not want to make an attempt to treat her as an equal. Along with the dismissiveness comes aggressiveness. Quentin becomes overly aggressive towards women. He mostly shows aggression towards women he does not know though. While stalking Squirrel, he eats at Humpty Dumpty on a regular basis. One of the times, he goes to give tip money to the waitress and tells her to give part to Squirrel. She points out that sharing tips is part of their policy, but Quentin refuses to accept her response. He responds to her in a casual manner, but in his head, he accuses her of stealing: “Cunt had been planning to pocket the $5 herself” (Oates 114). Quentin has no reason to accuse her of anything other than he distrusts her. He also has no reason to call her a cunt. He could have called her anything else, but he specifically choses a word that is considered one of the more derogatory. He calls women this throughout the entire book. He does not do
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