Nairobi

1090 Words Jun 20th, 2012 5 Pages
Nairobi Essay The short story ‘Nairobi’ is written by Joyce Carol Oates. The story takes place in the upper class Manhattan, where every day is a new opportunity to climb a step higher in the social hierarchy. The main characters are the rich Oliver Lehay and his female friend Ginny. As the story opens, Oliver is taking Ginny to a lot of expensive shops, where he is buying her fancy clothes and accessories, so she can look ‘appropriate’ for their visit to Marguerite and Herbert Crew’s apartment. After spending a little time with the couple, Olive decides to leave. He signals a cab for her and they separate. The realistic short story focuses on the difficulties there are in the highest social class of Manhattan. It is a twofaced …show more content…
She is debating with herself whether she wants to keep her old identity or replace it with a new. She decides to through them out, which shows that she is escaping her old life and trying to enter a new world of expensive things and social power. Not only is Ginny trying to escape her own identity, she is also the submissive one in her and Oliver’s relationship. Ginny obeys all Oliver’s instructions, and even when she is being treated unfairly she hides her indignation. Before they visit Marguerite and Herbert Crew’s apartment Oliver gives her instructions about how to behave in front of them. “Don’t even look at me, Oliver said. Don’t give the impression that anything I say – anything the three of us say – matters very much to you. Yes, said Ginny.” In this quote the author describes the balance of power between Ginny and Oliver. It is obvious that Ginny is striving to achieve social status from her relationship with Oliver. It is clear that Oliver is a powerful man, who wants to appear successful. He wants to show his masculinity by bringing a beautiful girl like Ginny to the get-together at the Crews’ appartment. Oliver has no personal interest in being with Ginny – the only thing that matters to him is his appearance. In New York’s upper class society, it is a taboo to be single at the age of thirty-four, so to maintain his