Analysis Of Joyce Carol Oates 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been'

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The conventional values American citizens associate with their country create a cultural paradox. Every day, millions of Americans endeavor to articulate the essence of the nation by describing the population as “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” An examination of American history quickly exposes the national pledge as an oath of deceit; a climate of segregation, inequity, and corruption exists at the core of social and political environments. The continuous presence of civil unrest inspires minorities to advocate for change through various movements in the public and private spheres. Historically, the feminist movement of the nineteen sixties marks a major transitional phase for the subaltern population of American women. Advocates of the movement address the various oppressions that continue to exist in American culture; such as issues relating to violence against women, political injustices, reproductive rights, and inequality in the workforce. The subordination of the female sex resulting from the masculine dominance in the public sphere is a central theme in postmodern literature, including Joyce Carol Oates’ publication "Where are You Going, Where Have You Been." In the short story, Oates criticizes the patriarchal culture of American society by characterizing the male roles as oppressors of the female gender.
Oates depicts the American father as a neglector of the female sex. The patriarchal dominance of the public sphere positions women at the center of
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