Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

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While reading Joyce Carol Oates’ short story “Where are you going, where have you been?” and Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” readers will dismiss the idea of the existence of any similarity in the stories of a fifteen year old girl and a grandmother. However, upon closer inspection, it is easy to appreciate how these two seemingly polar opposites are actually structured to invoke the same feelings in readers and to explore the same concepts. A close examination of “Where are you going, where have you been?” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” reveal similarities in the portrayal of violence, the destructive effects of innocence and naiveté, and the the reality of evil in the world. Joyce Carol Oates is an American novelist and short story writer. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” first appeared in the Fall of 1966 in Epoch Magazine. This particular work of fiction was inspired by the four Tucson, Arizona murders committed by Charles Howard Schmid, Jr., also known as the Pied Piper of Tucson. Charles Schmid stood at about 5’3” yet he wore oversize cowboys boots that he filled up with balled-up socks and rags to add inches. He wore freaky pancake makeup and died his hair jet black, yet he was loved by all the girls. Although he had graduated high school he still hung around with a younger crowd; in fact his girlfriend in 1964, Mary French was a seventeen year old who helped him lure his first victim.(Bovsun, Mara. "Justice Story: Pied Piper of
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