Lisa Brooks 12:10-1:00 752 Theme Analysis “June Birthing” It’s like going to a restaurant and not knowing what you want to order. Once you come across the item that makes your mouth water, you find yourself not being able to leave until you are satisfied and know that this was something that you will remember forever. The theme of “June Birthing” by Joyce Carol Oates is that sometimes in life chance events can change someone’s life. The story tells about a chance meeting between a woman named Kathe Connor and a man named Lyle Carter.
Kathe was a thirty-seven year old divorced woman. She lived her life routinely. She drove the same route “so frequently she has almost ceast to see her surroundings”(521). She was also very kind hearted and cared for others. Lyle Carter was a large, hard working man as described by Oates, “A big man in work clothes, torso like the trunk of a thick tree”(522). Contrary to his stature, he was a gentle, compassionate man. He, like Kathe, was divorced and set in his ways. He tells Kathe that “he’d become accustomed to being alone in this phase of his life”(526).
Their chance meeting occurred when Kathe noticed something on the side of the road. She stopped to help this creature who ended up being a tiny newborn fawn. Lyle approached and almost hit Kathe’s car. He stopped and tried to help Kathe save the fawn. At the beginning of the story Kathe believed that chance meetings did not change lifes outcomes, however by the end she asks Lyle, ‘”You wouldn’t think a single fawn would matter so much, would you’”(527). Her question to Lyle shows she had experienced an epiphany, that by stopping to help the fawn it brought the two of them together.
If she had not stopped they may have never met. Before this chance meeting Kathe and Lyle lived alone and seemed to be lonely. This event brought them together and they could become companions. After meeting him her life may have new meaning and not so routine. Lyle is able to show his gentle, caring side to someone he had been missing in his life. He told Kathe “that he knew what it was to feel strongly about an animal”(526). This shows that he has compassion just as Kathe did about the fawn. Together they can balance each other out.
The title “June Birthing” has more than just one meaning. The first meaning can relate to the fawn being born in June. The second meaning the beginning of a relationship between Kathe and Lyle. Everyone comes to a path in life that they must choose which way to go. The choice people make can change a life forever. Works Cited Oates, Joyce Carol. “June Birthing” Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense 11th ed. Ed. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Boston Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. 521-527.
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