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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? By Joyce Carol Oates

WhereAre You Going, Where Have You Been? By Joyce Carol Oates


WhereAre You Going, Where Have You Been? By Joyce Carol Oates

JoyceCarol Oates in her work “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”ought to illustrate life transition stages. Also, the book usesdifferent aspects of literary devices to convey her message, use ofmetaphors, imageries and dialogue have remarkably evoked the author’seffectiveness in writing skills. For instance, she has managed to usedialogue to develop characters such as Connie whereby she illustratesher attributes using third person language, thus allowing the readerinto the private thoughts of Connie. Additionally, to enhance herwriting effectiveness, the author’s title is a representation ofthe two most important story scenes and uses Connie’s life as“where have you been” by defining her life to be rocking of fans.And later on, the introduction of Arnold Friend evokes the aspects of“where are you going.&quot

Oatesstarts her story by an imagery whereby Connie`s life is used toestablish a life of a teenager. She compares it using Connie`s laughthat is presented as &quotcynical and drawling at home.&quot Fromthe imagery, the reader can easily differentiate Connie`spersonality, while at home as well while she is on the streetsrepresenting a youthful age where she explores her sexuality andmingles with boys. Consequently, the use of the sacred building is ametaphor that the author uses to illustrate places where girls andboys interact and listen to music. However, to enhance the transitionbetween the two most important scenes of the story the authorintroduces “a male predator” (Arnold Friend) as the girls areenjoying at the crossroads of the restaurants and social plazas.

ArnoldFriend who is compared to a hawk is introduced as a hunter whoidentifies its prey (Connie). However, Arnold Friend waits whenConnie is alone at home to make his “predatory” move, and thissymbolizes the transition from one stage of life whereby Connie isallowed to make her decision, for instance, she opts to remain athome rather than joining her family to barbecue. Although ArnoldFriend is familiar to Connie, Connie senses his predatory nature, butshe has to be submissive as there is no one to protect her from thepredator and thus marking the transition from time to a culture thatis attributed to harassment and victimization of women by men.

Fromthe story, the author has used metaphors and imagery to enhance theshift of scenes simultaneously. However, the author uses limitedthird person language to allow a dialogue that ensures the reader’sinterpretation of character development and attribution.