Exerpt from part III page 370 onto 371.
Al? This is Chandler again. Al, thankyou. Thank you for releasing that girl..... It was an absurd thing to say, yet Chandler had to say it. He would praise the madman who'd kept a young woman prisoner by gunpoint for several hours, he would thank him for releasing her, and he would be genuine in his gratitude. Al? Now there's you. Will you pick up the phone? It's ringing...... The phone was not picked up. the number was redialed, and again went unanswered. Al, talk to me! This is going to end well, now you've released the girl and people can see that your intentions are good. But now you need to give up your weapons, Al, O.K.? So tat you don't get hurt, Al. You can come out, you'll be taken into custody but not hurt. Think of your family, Al? Your children, your parents. Your father. He was a brave man, I remember your father. He should not have died so young. He'd want you to live. Al. You're so smart, you know that. The police want you to lay down your weapons, just leave them on the floor inside there and come to the door, slowly. Let us see you, Al. I'm right here, I'm watching. Extend you r hands where we can see them. It's going to be all right, Al, see, you let the girl go, that makes all the difference, no one has been killed, or seriously hurt, the girl is saying you treated her well... So Chandler spoke earnestly, with increasing desperation; but there was no response.
The phone was redialed, and this tme the line was busy.
Al? Please Put the phone back on the hook, talk to me... I want so badly to talk to you.
This passage is interesting because the style is quite different from the previous approaches Oates' has been taking regarding conversations and dialogue between characters. This is the conversation between Chandler Burnaby and the gunman hiding inside the house, and is conducted in front of an audience over the megaphone Ariah's eldest son is holding. Previously The Falls author used the traditional technique of putting any spoken dialogue from the characters in quotations. Italics were reserved for showing the inner thoughts of characters or flash backs of conversations. It's odd that Oates chose to put this conversation into italics, disregarding quotes, but it is evident that her choice was deliberate and there to make a point or signify events in the text. My hypothesis is that this strategy was to show the intimacy of the conversation between the two men. They are peers, childhood aquaintances, bonded in a way they have never felt before. When reading the conversation, as a reader you almost forget that Chandler is surrounded by a huge crowd of concerned and curious townspeople. But Chandler feels this way as well. His words are sincere, genuine, he is speaking honestly and candidly. Not to the crowd, not to the media, but to his 'friend', 'brother', Al Mayweather. So really, this conversation might as well have been in Chandler's head, or a secluded conversation between the two men. Oates' goal in this portion of the text was to convey a sense of intimacy and sincerity in the conversation and of Chandler's words and action. A strategy I believe she executed perfectly, in this pivotal, nail biting turning point in the text.