Folktales In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

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Folktales have been told for generations and are part of many cultures. Parents use them to teach a moral, to give a lesson to their children and to entertain them with a good story. The original folktales have been censored for the pleasure of the public while still keeping the moral. From “The Little Riding Hood” to “Rapunzel”, folktales all share common traits and structures which can easily be seen throughout their stories. Similarly, the writer of “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, Joyce Carol Oates uses many elements commonly known folktales to develop her story, using their characteristics to create connections with the readers’ past knowledge from folktales. While she uses different qualities of folktales, the archetypical Innocent, Vilain, and…show more content…
To begin with, in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, the protagonist Connie, is a young pretty girl who is seen as gentle and innocent. She lives a neglected life with her mother always nagging, saying “Why don’t you keep your room clean like your sister? How’ve you got your hair fixed--- what the hell stinks? Hairspray? You don’t see your sister using that junk” (Oates 1) and her father always away for the work and never bothered to interact with Connie. Likewise, Connie shares very similar traits to Innocents in folktales. The archetypical Innocent is always a young adolescent, usually a girl, or animal, who is seen as pure and untouched. Connie is also described as young, described as being “fifteen” (Oates 1) and that “she knew she was was” (Oates 1). Just like Connie, Innocents live a life with poor parental guidance and protection, while always being neglected or left unprotected by the mother, who’s either absent or lacking maternal strength, and a father who can’t protect or help the Innocent since
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