Three Girls Midterm

1485 Words6 Pages
Ryan McNeal
Professor Glover
English 101 – Midterm
7 October 2010

“Three Girls” Midterm

Joyce Carol Oates wrote the story “Three Girls” in 2002. The story actually takes place on “one snowy evening in 1956” (77). The initial characters in the story are “two NYU girl-poets” (77), but later the reader is introduced to another character that changes the entire story. The two poets are the narrator and the reader who is spoken of using the word “you”. The point of view is first person, but can also been viewed as second person because of the use of the word “you”. The setting of the story is Strand Used Books in New York City. The girls were doing their usual shopping at the bookstore, until they encountered a worldwide celebrity named
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We were fearful her privacy would be destroyed. Quickly the blond actress would become surrounded, mobbed” (80). She then says, “A girl or woman would have kept her secret” (80). This can be seen as foreshadowing to the revelation of their same-sex relationship at the end. They thought of women more highly then men, meaning it could cause them to be more attracted to a female. They were also paranoid that society would disapprove and be disappointed in their same-sex relationship and, in effect, treat them differently. They kept their secret until the night they met Marilyn Monroe because they finally decided to do what made them happy instead of being scared and trying to please society. Although the other characters in the story did not do anything, they still provided a barrier for Marilyn Monroe and the poets until the very last sentence of the story. Symbolism was the biggest element of fiction in “Three Girls”. Throughout the story, the actions of Marilyn Monroe can be consistently symbolized with the feelings of the two poets. The reactions of everyone else in the store also symbolizes the reactions that the girls could expect when they come out and make a risky decision of their own. When the narrator first notices that Marilyn Monroe is alone, she says, “Like us (we began to see) this Marilyn Monroe required no man” (79). The girls were surprised that Monroe did not have a
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