Oates says that the Weidels “tell us everything about ourselves, and even the telling, the exposure, is a kind of cutting, an inscription in the flesh.”

If Oates believes that talking about the Weidels is like cutting, it is interesting that Oates asks Ruth to tell her what happened to her family when she knows exactly what happened. It is also interesting that Oates is asking Ruth to come over to her house for dinner when she knows how horrified her mother will be. It is also interesting how Oates talks about leaving her wallet in the bathroom when Ruth steals it.

In a fully-developed essay, analyze the relationship between Oates and Ruth and discuss how that relates to the essay as a whole.

Oates “They All Just Went Away” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1995/10/16/they-all-just-went-away

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