Nairobi Essays

1080 Words Jun 10th, 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…
“It was time in any case to say good-bye: she sensed that he wasn’t going to ask her, even out of courtesy, to have a drink with him: and she had made up her mind not to feel even tangentially insulted. After all, she hadn’t been insulted.” This quote proves that Oliver is a callous man, who doesn’t care about other’s feelings. It is also evident that Oliver is living behind a ‘mirror’ – he hides his own identity in order to protect himself from reality. “This was his “mirror face”, Ginny supposed, the way he had of confronting himself in the mirror so that it wasn’t really himself but a certain habitual expression that protected him.” This quote proves that Oliver isn’t satisfied with his very materialistic, empty life. In real world, money can’t buy happiness or love – only by showing ones true identity, it is possible to be happy. When a person can’t accept who they really are, it is not possible to accept others. Oliver is struggling with his own identity, and that makes him insecure and unable to accept others. The author, Joyce Carol Oates, reveals information about a character and his/her personality through that character's thoughts, words, and actions, along with how other characters respond to that character, including what they think and say about him/her. This method is called indirect characterization. ‘Nairobi’ is told from Ginny’s point of view. When a new character is presented in the story, the reader gets a

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