Literary Techniques in Joyce Carol Oates' Where are you Going? Where Have you Been?

Decent Essays
Imagine yourself on a nice, sunny day. You are sitting outside in a lawn chair waiting for you hair to dry when suddenly, a boy comes to ask you to take you out. Joyce Carol Oates presents this image in “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?” Not only is this a famous short story, it also presents symbols, motifs, and themes that people who read the story can relate to. Oates shows teenage rebellion and bliss in her short story. The title can provide significance with the relationship between Connie and Arnold Friend. Oates provides themes in the story that makes the reader wonder where Connie is going with her life including her independence, her maturity, and her world that’s fantasy against reality.
The idea of maturity is presented through the main character, Connie. Maturity is one of the themes presented, and even though Connie tries so hard to be an adult, she still shows childlike ways. When Connie is shopping, Joyce portrays Connie as having a “walk that could be childlike and bobbing, or languid enough to make anyone think she was hearing music in her head” (324). She also portrays an inner child conscious when it comes to her mother. Connie believes that her mother was simple and it was cruel to be able to trick her so easily. Even though her childlike ways show in the story, she also shows moments where her maturity is real. While Connie and her friends are going shopping, a boy in their high school invites them over to his car. Through the girls’ point of
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