Literary Devices In Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

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In her short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", Joyce Carol Oates utilizes a variety of literary devices to strengthen the story in its entirety. This short story is essentially about a 16-year-old girl named Connie and the conflict between her desire to be mature and her desire to remain an adolescent. Throughout the story, the audience sees this conflict through her words in addition to through her behavior. The audience is also introduced to Arnold Friend, a rather peculiar man, who essentially kidnaps her. This short story by Joyce Carol Oates functions and is additionally meaningful because of her usage of literary devices. Joyce Carol Oates employs symbolism throughout this short story. The biggest symbol in this entire…show more content…
This quote represents the differences between Connie's behavior, including her laughter, at home versus in public. The mention of a charm bracelet reminds readers of Connie's femininity and youth while the use of the words cynical and drawling reminds the readers of masculinity. This shows how Connie tries to appear extra feminine, and therefore sexier when in public. This quote compares a religious building to a restaurant, representing the social and cultural world that Connie lives in. This allows the audience to have an enhanced understanding of the conditions of the society surrounding Connie so that they can have a superior understanding of her actions. This quote also shows what is important to Connie since her church is essentially a restaurant and her prayer is essentially music. In this quote, Oates portrays Arnold Friend as an animal, specifically a hawk or bird of prey. This foreshadows that Arnold Friend will prey on Connie and that his presence represents danger. Lastly, Arnold Friend threatening to collapse the house represents him threatening her childhood and the world that she knows since that is what her home
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