62 pages 2 hours read

Joyce Carol Oates

We Were the Mulvaneys

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1996

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Part 2, Chapters 29-33Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “The Huntsman”

Chapter 29 Summary: “The Accomplice”

Judd thinks of himself as his brother’s accomplice, because in reply to Patrick’s request, he realizes: “Whatever he wants I’ll do it. If he wants me to pull the trigger myself I’ll do it” (256). He believes Patrick is the only Mulvaney who can exact revenge “as a coolly premeditated act from which the perpetrator would walk away unscathed” (256). Michael has become rude and aggressive to Corinne, but when Judd shares his fears with Patrick, he replies, “our father is just a casualty” (260). Michael spirals into paranoia, hiring and firing lawyers to right the wrongs done to him, “a man with no hope” (261).

Judd and Corinne visit Marianne: “When Marianne and Mom hugged they began to cry in a soundless way you’d almost mistake for laughter” (262). They have lunch with the rest of the commune, who are friendly and inquisitive, and Corinne is “in her element” (264). Judd sees a bruise on Corinne’s jaw, and is scared that his father has done it. Corinne initially gets on well with Abelove, the director of the co-op, but when she feels he is touching upon private family matters, she says, “You are a stranger to me, Mr.