Close Reading of Where are you going Where have you been

Close Reading of Where are you going Where have you been -...

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Close Reading of “Where are you Going, Where have you been?” Hollywood gives us the false impression that evil is easy to decipher and that the bad guys are blatantly conspicuous. Real life is not so kind. The quote on quote, bad guys , can be anyone, and they certainly do not have to stand out physically, socially, or emotionally. It is the artificial stereotype given by popular culture, which characterizes bad guys by creepy behavior and outward appearances, which eases us into a sense of false security. The frightening reality of the presence of evil, amongst those who would otherwise be classified as normal, is apparent in everyday culture. Perhaps one of the most disturbing instances is shown weekly on the popular NBC show, “Dateline: To Catch a Predator”. The show depicts the very people you unknowingly trust, such as pediatricians and teachers, preying on unsuspecting children. The popular American writer and novelist, Joyce Carol Oates, explores and exploits this very idea of the presence of inconspicuous evil in the short story, “Where are you Going, Where have you been?”. The story’s most apparent, underlying theme is the ongoing conflict between appearance and reality. Connie, the main character of the story, is a beautiful, naïve fifteen year old, who places most of her faith in outward appearance. When Connie meets Arnold Friend, she is quickly deceived by his outward appearance. It is not until she realizes the shallowness of his outward appearance, much like a mask, does Connie realize the reality of the situation;
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENGL 102 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at South Carolina.

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Close Reading of Where are you going Where have you been -...

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