Independence day.

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      This article focuses on the book "We Were the Mulvaneys," by Joyce Carol Oates. Oates's twenty sixth novel questions instinct and survival. She employs social theory, theology and science to ask whether changes within the family are emblematic of evolution within the species. Oates is under appreciated in a culture suspicious of artist as intellectual and artist as productive worker. Her fiction consistently raises philosophical issues within an examination of American violence. The novel becomes a saga of shame and redemption. Gossip travels fast in Mt. Ephraim, and disgrace falls not on the rapist but on the Mulvaneys.