Analysis Of Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been By Joyce Carol Oates

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A fifteen year old girl is home alone, carelessly eating a snack on the couch in her living room. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. The little girl, thinking it could be a delivery man or one of her relatives coming for a short visit, gets off the couch to unlock the front door. Once the door is wide open, she comes face-to-face with a forty year old man, a sickly smile gracing his lips and nothing but unethical thoughts lingering in his head. Abduction and sexual assault is notorious throughout the world with adolescences generally being the main target because of their vulnerability to give in to objectionable seduction. A profound example of a male intruder barging into the life and mentality of a naïve female protagonist is the short story, “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates. Essentially, Oates exaggerates characterization through the use of archetypes and existential allegories to give closure to the realistic narrative. The feminine archetype of Cassandra is reflected on Connie’s mentality and her ultimate actions. Connie spends most of her time “dreaming about the boys she met. But all the boys fell back and dissolved into a single face that was not even a face, but an idea, a feeling, mixed up with the urgent insistent pounding of the music” (Oates 305). Needless to say, Connie privately harbors innocent dreams of love, illuminating her humility. Like many adolescent girls, she “sleepwalks through life listening to music only she seems to
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