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“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Literature Review

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    The story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates in the story a teenager names Connie, a girl that lives with an older sister who is admired by her family. Their father works often and doesn’t communicate with the family. As Connie lives the teenage life of going out with friends and crushing on the new lover boy, she gets herself in a predicament from ignoring the mystery man in the gold car who wants her for his own.

    In the story Oates uses an onomatopoeia contrast to Connie’s behavior, for example “…her laugh, which was cynical and drawling at home—“Ha, ha, very funny,”—but high-pitched and nervous anywhere else, like the ringing of the charms on her bracelet.” (para. 2). The jingling of her charm bracelet generally is supposed to represent the youth of teenage girls, which is significant. This essentially is different from the laugh she uses at home around her family. That laugh is more masculine and deeper, which basically is quite significant. Connie’s laugh illustrates her personality when around her friend’s vs when shea around her family.

    Arnolds friends has been causing trouble the allusion the proteases give off a hawk like appearance. In the story it explains, “And his face was a familiar face, somehow: the jaw and chin and cheeks slightly darkened because he hadn’t shaved for a day or two, and the nose long and hawk like, sniffing as if she were a treat he was going to gobble up and it was all a joke” (para. 6). Arnold’s buddy is compared to a bird. The Hawk represents how he is a predator. This illustration gives a hint that something is bad, meaning he wants to consume Connie. Doing this would give him the connection to be a natural animal who hunts and kills others. She soon figures out that he is after her and remains compliant. Even though he seems like a big bad wolf she comes from experience of men downgrading woman.

    The Stories continues with an understatement, “‘this place you are now—inside your daddy’s house—is nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down any time.’”(para.13) In this situation Arnolds buddy is threatening Connie, by using where she lives, and by associating her dad, that he cannot defend them. An illustration that he issues of a cardboard box of Connie’s house portrays what situation she is now in. In the story, residence represents the globe of circle of relatives and tradition. In ““Where Are You Going, Where Have You been?” the people are a tree to show who she is related to and the ritual lifestyle they live. When the man that is represented as a bird threatens her home it is a representation of her youth.

    Each character plays a role in this story by how they all portray to Connie and her fear. In the beginning she is having fun with friends and towards the end she is terrified of the mystery man. She ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and has a consequence.

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    “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Literature Review. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/where-are-you-going-where-have-you-been-literature-review/

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