The familial separation in “How I Contemplated” was not set off by the narrator, but rather her parents. When the narrator is caught shoplifting the mother sweeps the problem under the metaphorical rug while her father “handles his daughter 's shoplifting episode in the same clinical manner that he uses to treat his patients” (Flibbert 2). The father approaches his own daughter’s plea for attention as he would any other strangers issue. Both the father and mother do not address the narrator about what she did and how it was wrong, instead they fixed the problem with the store owner and did not return to or even talk about the reason she stole from the store. The narrator’s parents do not act as parents in this short story, instead of guiding their children and teaching them from their mistakes they act as stand-offish and self absorbed piles of money who refuse to...
... middle of paper ...
...or shows Connie’s motivation for agreeing to go away with Arnold is to protect her family, for earlier in the story Arnold threatens her with the murder of her family and the destruction of her house. “[Connie] accepts all the assumptions Arnold Friend uses, and when he threatens her with the violence to her family, she feels that she must, in fact, go with him” (Wagner-Martin 2). This self-sacrificing gesture shows Connie’s maturation, for in the beginning of the story Connie only spoke about her hate for her mother and intense embarrassment she felt as a result of her sister’s lifestyle. The author has Connie grow as a character through her realization that she would put herself in danger to keep her family safe. Connie’s bad decisions and self-induced isolation are redeemed by the love that Connie holds towards her family, showing the maturation of this character.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Literary Analysis: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. In the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” written by Joyce Carol Oats, the writer includes a very interesting character. One of the main characters, Arnold Friend, is a dynamic character due to the sudden changes of this physical appearance and personality. At first he seems charming and a little on the sweet side, but then his dark side starts to show as the story progresses. He first appears when Connie abandons her friend to go with a boy named Eddie.... [tags: Love, Fiction, Short story, Promise]
862 words (2.5 pages)
- Have you ever been so focused on achieving your dreams that you become unaware of your current situation. When we focus on the goals ahead of us, we fail to see the obstacles and dangers that are in front of us. In order to achieve our goals we involuntarily put ourselves in an unwanted situation. Connie, herself, struggles to achieve her goal of being a desirable girl that turns heads when she walks into the room. She becomes so set on being this girl that she doesn’t realize the danger of the situation.... [tags: joyce oates, eden garden, focus]
988 words (2.8 pages)
- The short story "Where are you going, where have you been?" by Joyce Carol Oates is full of symbolism that represents elements such as evil and loss of innocence. The symbolism is a crucial part of the story because it helps the reader to read between the lines and see beyond the obvious meanings of things. Some of the important symbols present in this story are Arnold's car, Arnold himself, and the doorway of Connie's family's house. One important symbol present in the story is Arnold's orange car.... [tags: joyce oates, evil, symbolism]
649 words (1.9 pages)
- Though thoroughly distinguishable, the short stories “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates and “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri present wide opportunities for one to compare and contrast literary elements. The two works, published within thirty years of one another, may be compared through the common theme of appearance versus reality, which is furthered through analogous instances of sexual symbolism, and contrasted through dissimilar settings and plot lines.... [tags: Joyce Carol Oates, Short story, Jhumpa Lahiri]
788 words (2.3 pages)
- Isolation is a common and necessary theme in traditional American coming of age stories. Joyce Carol Oates uses familial isolation in both of her short stories to enable the main character to grow up. In “Where are you going, Where have you Been” Connie has bad relationships with the other women in her family, and so she separates her familial life and her social life because “everything about her had two sides to it one for home and one for anywhere that was not home” (Where 1). Connie has done this to herself to get away from her judgmental mother and her perfect, frumpy older sister.... [tags: Joyce Carol Oates, Short story, Adult]
2066 words (5.9 pages)
- ... For example, there is no doubt in my mind that I cannot walk to the supermarket, go to the checkout registrars, and pick up a “How to loose 10lbs fast!” magazine. Needless to say, even the models in these advertisements are not that thin. With the flick of a finger an editor can take off a few inches on the waist or create the trending “thigh gap” adolescents strive for. These magazines, once again, ingrain the notion that you should not be content with your weight and probably need to hop on a treadmill.... [tags: Mass media, Advertising, Facebook, Woman]
1820 words (5.2 pages)
- ... It was filled with happiness and laughter. The radio was on and we were listening to country music, the only thing my mother listens to. A familiar song came on my mother favorite at the time “if you 're going through hell” by Rodney Atkins a song that I could still sing every word too. She loved this song because at the time she probably felt as if she was going through hell and she was finally coming out of it. Things where finally looking up for us. On this particular day we were finally out of the safe house that we had been in for over 2 months.... [tags: Family, Mother, Wife, Father]
721 words (2.1 pages)
- The things we do are what define ourselves. Desperate teenagers tend to make unreasonable decisions trying to fit into society. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?,” a story written by Joyce Carol Oates relates the story of a young girl that flaunts her beauty which ultimately leads to her abduction. Lost in a fantasy world, Connie, a self-absorbed 15-year-old girl, spends much of her time going out with her friends and meeting older boys. One night, she captures a stranger’s attention and he decides to do whatever it takes to take her with him.... [tags: Fantasy, Teenagers, Stranger]
553 words (1.6 pages)
- “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”: A Critical Analysis Of her hundreds of short stories, Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” continues to be widely discussed among literary critics. In his article “Oates’s Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, David Gratz claims that Oates’s story can be read as a parable for a young girl’s fear of adulthood. He agrees there is much textual evidence that Connie dreams of her disturbing experience with Arnold Friend and that he is a “psychological projection” (Gratz 55) of her subconscious fears.... [tags: fears, sex, physical metamorphosis]
777 words (2.2 pages)
- What The World Has Done... In "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" the author, Joyce Carol Oates, essentially asserts that the nuances of one's personality are not generated from within, but rather shaped by external circumstances. This is an argument whose justification is abundantly clear in the inner conflict of Connie, the protagonist of the book. The source of that struggle is her unstable relationship with her family, which ultimately results in her identity conflict. As one who always been deprived of father-figure, she feels the need to acquire attention from boys in order to fill that void.... [tags: American Literature Joyce Carol Oates]
854 words (2.4 pages)