Analysis Of Where Are You Going And Sonny's Blues

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“At its most basic, every story is an attempt to answer the question What happened?” (Norton 85) One of the most significant elements in a short story is plot. Plot is construct by authors and they rearrange the character’s action in a consequential way to shape our response and interpretation (Norton 85). In "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates and "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin, they use similar plot styles that contributes to the process of maturation for characters in the stories. The exposition of a story marks its beginning and introduces the reader to the narrative (Norton 89). Baldwin begins his story by introducing us to the narrator, who is learning of Sonny's arrest after being caught up in a heroin bust. On the other hand, the exposition of "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" introduces us to Connie, the main character. She is a self-absorbed fifteen-year-old girl that is obsessed with her beauty. The opening of the story is quite different for two of the stories. For Baldwin, he begins the story with a more recent event and use flashback memories to show us how Sonny’s ends up addicted to heroin and how their relationship worsens. For Oates, she begins the story with introducing the …show more content…

Baldwin completes his story by showing a ray of reconciliation between the two brothers. The narrator sends Sonny a drink. Sonny sees an improvement in their relationship. Oates completes her story by showing us Connie's submission to Arnold. She accepts her fate and sacrifices herself to save her family. Although both stories end up with characters developing maturity, they have a huge different outcome. In “Sonny’s Blue”, it has a positive conclusion, which is getting a closer brotherhood, while in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, it has a negative conclusion, which is a foreshadowing of the loss of innocence of

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