Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? 'AndThe Eve Of The Spirit Festival'
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Some define “coming of age” as the process by which people attain responsibility and maturity. Others may define it as a process of trial and error during which time a young person learns and grows through considerable angst. In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Juliet falls in love with Romeo the son of her family’s arch enemies. Due to this love, she defies her parents and plans to run away with Romeo. Similarly, in Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” and Lan Samantha Chang’s “The Eve of the Spirit Festival”, the characters Connie and Emily, rebel against their parents and must eventually face the consequences of their choices. In Romeo and Juliet, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” and “The Eve of the Spirit Festival” the characters come of age when they make autonomous choices and become accountable for their actions.
Juliet, Connie, and Emily all begin to come of age when they make decisions that are in conflict with their parents’ beliefs. When Romeo declares his love for her, Juliet says, “And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay/And follow thee my [lord] throughout the world” (2.2.154-155). While her parents want her to marry Paris, Juliet decides that her heart lies with Romeo, and she is willing to sacrifice her parents’ love to be with him. She rebels against her parents by ignoring the rivalry between the Capulets and Montagues and Romeo’s involvement in the murder of her cousin. In the same way, Connie in “Where Are