Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

1021 WordsJun 22, 20065 Pages
"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" By Joyce Carol Oates A short story titled "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" tells a tale of an adolescent girl who suffers consequences of growing up in the unsupportive environment and the society preoccupied by the media. It is considered to be the most famous work of Joyce Carol Oates, an American writer, the winner of many significant literary awards and a two- time candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. The story was first published in the fall of 1966. It is dedicated "to Bob Dylan", as though, after having heard Dylan's song "It's all over now, Baby Blue" Oates got inspiration for the story. She was also influenced by the article about Charles Schmid, a twenty-…show more content…
The language of "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is sophisticated in narration, and colloquial, matched to the age of the characters, in dialogues and quotations. It spends much time on description of people, their feelings and emotions. Oates's story, according to its ambiguous ending, can have several interpretations. The most literally one depends upon the problem of rape in today's culture. Connie is a pretty, young and inexperienced girl. She is being seduced by an older man, who finally achieves his goal, rapes her, and probably murders. The story can be a kind of warning that there are thousands of women harmed through this crime every day, and more often they are innocent and naive teenagers and girls. It may also call for not only reacting to a victim of a horrible rape, but for searching out the rapists, seeking the causes of rape in the society, and stopping this epidemic at its source. The other reading of the story might be based on the maturing of a young woman. As it is probably the most important period in every adolescent's life, when they keep searching for their own identity, it should by strongly influenced by their parents. If it is not, a teenager starts looking for directions outside their home, and sometimes has difficulties with distinguishing what is good and evil. They are very often affected by
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