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'Them': how does the first chapter introduce us to the characters of the novel and how does it reflect Oates's style?

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  1. One of the main characters and the historical context of the 30's
  2. J.C. Oates's style of writing
    1. Long descriptions in prose, few dialogues in colloquial language
    2. A naturalistic novel?

The following is an extract from J.C Oates's novel "Them". It was published in 1969 and won the "National Book award fiction" in 1970.
Even though Oates states in the foreword to the book that the story is based on a real family the novel is fictional. Most of it takes place in Detroit and covers a period which goes from the 1930's to the 1960's and it deals with the struggle of three characters : Loretta and her children Maureen and Jules who are trying to live the American dream.

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