Night Nurse By Joyce Oates Essay Research

Night Nurse By Joyce Oates Essay, Research Paper

After reading Joyce Carol Oates story, ? The Night Nurse,? revenge is what

is found. This story starts off by a woman by the name of Grace Burkhardt,

collapsing at a shopping mall because of a reason that was unknown at the time.

She is taken in an ambulance to a hospital where she undergoes an emergency

surgery for a blood clot that is in her leg that could have traveled to her

heart. Grace?s stay in the hospital that night was not how she expected. The

worst pain a person can indure, is the one who is left out. In the beginning of

the story Grace explains herself as being laid back. ?I am behaving well, look

how calm and civilized? (654). Grace never screamed out at the shopping mall.

She tried to act as calm as possible. Even though Grace was in so much pain, she

never sobbed to God or never did she ask, ?Am I dying? Will I die? (654)?

Shortly after the doctors took care of Grace, she went into surgery. After this

is when her attitude begins to change. After surgery Grace just lied in bed in

so much pain. She cried out ?help me?. I?m so cold, I?m so frightened?

(654)! This is when the reader notices the shift in Graces attitude. Her

attitude shifts into a tone that can practically be heard by the reader. As many

times as Grace cried out for help the reader could tell she was desperate. Once

the day was over, Grace was about to go through a night that she would never

forget. She began to beg God, unlike in the beginning of the story, ?Help me

through the night? (655). The pain from Grace?s surgery was so severe, that

she called for a nurse repeatedly. Finally a nurse came in to give her a bedpan

so she could urinate. After Grace used the bedpan she waited for the nurse to

come back and retrieve it, but she never came back. She needed a nurse also to

bring her a blanket because she was freezing cold. Once again there was no nurse

to be found. As Grace laid there waiting, she began to drift into her years at

college. She thought about her several administrative positions she held during

her years at Wells College. During these years people had always praised her.

Grace always seemed to be favored by others. Finally Grace saw a nurse standing

at the door. Grace wondered why the nurse was just standing there. The nurse

finally told Grace her name. It was Harriet Zink. Harriet says her name so the

reader can tell there is a conflict occurring. All Grace wanted was a blanket

and her bedpan removed, but Harriet replied, ?registered nurses aren?t

required to touch bedpans? (660). This is when the reader can tell Harriet is

going to be difficult for Grace to deal with. Once Grace stated, ?I am a good

person, I am well-liked, respected? (660), is the time the reader finally gets

to know what the conflict is between Grace and Harriet. Because of Graces

comment about her Harriet begins to show she gets happy every time Grace shows

how much pain she is in. This is how the writer lets the reader know revenge is

taking place. Back in Harriet?s college years she was suppose to be roommates

with Grace, but Harriet came late twelve days late into the semester because her

mother died. The residential advisor warned Grace and her friends what had

happened so they could avoid bringing the subject up. Once Harriet came, her

hall had already bonded with others. At this time Harriet was always treated as

if she was in the way and there was no room for her. Because of the way she was

treated in these college years, it has affected Harriet throughout her life.

Deep down inside she knew she would forgive Grace, but she could not stop

thinking of her years in college and the pain that she went. Harriet knows that

she could stand there and enjoy the pain Grace was going through longer, but she

is a better person than that. Grace was in so much pain that night from her

surgery. She needed a nurse to come tend to her, but no one would come. After

Grace called and called for a nurse, one finally came in to tend to her. This

nurse happened to be a person she went to college with in the past. Her name was

Harriet. At college Grace and her friends always left Harriet out, especially

during a time Harriet really needed a friend and Grace realized that Harriet had

not forgotten the past. Harriet gets her revenge by frightening Grace a little.

This is done when Harriet continues ignoring Grace?s apology. Harriet just

wants Grace to realize how bad she was hurt. The worst pain a person can indure,

is the one who is left out.



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