Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

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Writer, Joyce Oates, in her fictional short story, “Where are you going, where have you been,” recounts the story of, Connie a fifteen year old. Joyce Oates creates a flippant tone in her character description of Connie. The tone shifts from flippant to disturb after her brief interaction with Arnold at her house. Oates uses emotionally/ominous loaded language, and vivid threatening imagery in Where are you going,where have you been. Oates purpose is to warn readers of what could happen when an adolescent go through the rite of passage. Oates begins with Connie a typical conflicted teenager that is obsessed with her appearance, and is very rebellious. She expresses her emotion appeals between Connie and her mother, as Connie is being criticized…show more content…
She emotional language at the beginning of the story when Connie has an altercation with her mother , Connie tells herself that she wished her mother was dead and so was she and often whined to her friends that her mother “makes me want to throw up sometimes”(453). Connie’s language takes a turn when she receives an unexpected visit. Oates uses phrases such as, “Who the hell do you think you are?”, “pretended to fidget”, and “Reluctantly” (457). At that point Connie grows suspension and realizes something is fishy. “Where are you going, where have you been”, discovers vivid threatening imagery when Arnold tells Connie, “Gonna get you baby” (Oates 455). The readers begin to gain knowledge and concern of what's about to come next. The imagery escalates when Arnold is at her house manipulating her. He compliments her blue eyes even though they’re brown and when she explains how she “ push the door slowly open as if she were safe back somewhere in the other doorway” (Oates 466). Oates language portrays her purpose explaining what happens to Connie when her sexuality (Rite of passage), leads to death or violence. She portrays that purpose using her choice of diction, and using threatening imagery as she's unraveling what’s destined to
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