Dismemberment of Kathleen's Psyche in Joyce Carol Oates's 'The Rise of Life on Earth'





Fragmented psyche, Mental space, Reality, Textual space, Transmogrification


Postmodern literary texts have been exploring characters that are whimsically strange. The tacit plots in the postmodern textual space enable the writers to construct and manifest the mental space of the characters in the textual world. The Rise of Life on Earth written by Joyce Carol Oates concocts the emotional estrangement of the protagonist, Kathleen Hennessy. Decrypting the text amplifies the unabating efforts of Kathleen to survive in a world that has been portrayed as a larger, repressive and pernicious family. Her masquerade to be a shy, passive and well-behaved girl hides the menacing vengeance that has culminated as a result of abuses and afflictions. Her mental spaces are constructed during the course of narration. This paper purports to scrutinize the fragmented psyche of Kathleen and the conceptual integration of mental space and textual space that replicates both social and individualistic reality and expands the understanding of Oates' text.

Author Biographies

Kulamangalam Thiagarajan Tamilmani, Nehru Memorial College (Affiliated to Bharathidasan University), Puthanampatti, India

Dr. K. T. Tamilmani is an Associate Professor of English at Nehru Memorial College in Puthanampatti, affiliated to Bharathidasan University, India. His research interests include American Literature and English Language Teaching. He has published many papers in reputed journals. He has served as a resource person for a number of academic programs.

Rathinasamy Nagalakshmi, Nehru Memorial College (Affiliated to Bharathidasan University), Puthanampatti, India

Ms. R. Nagalakshmi is a Research Scholar at Nehru Memorial College (affiliated to Bharathidasan University), in Puthanampatti, India. She worked as an Assistant Professor of English (2017-2018) at Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College in Tiruchirappalli. Her area of research interest is Postmodern American Fiction.


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How to Cite

Tamilmani, K. T., & Nagalakshmi, R. (2021). Dismemberment of Kathleen’s Psyche in Joyce Carol Oates’s ’The Rise of Life on Earth’. English Studies at NBU, 7(2), 227–244. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.21.2.6




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