Compare And Contrast Where Are You Going Where Have You Been And The Short Story

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Often when a film is adapted from any works of literature, the details of the works can be portrayed differently and/or similarly. The short story by Joyce Carol Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been," and the Sundance Award-winning film directed by Joyce Chopra, "Smooth Talk," show that both works have similarities and differences with each other when it comes to characters, themes, and plots. Throughout both the short story and the film, Connie faces personal struggles in both works.
An author can describe their characters in one way, while a film director adapting the book to a film can portray characters another way. The film by Joyce Chopra and the short story by Joyce Oates both show the differences with their characters.
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In the short store, “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been,” Connie's mother is quite condensing towards Connie. She belittles Connie in the first paragraph of the story by saying, “stop gawking at yourself, who are you? You think you're so pretty?” (page 505). Meanwhile, in the film directed by Chopra, Connie's mother is the same way. The actress who portrayed the mother, Mary Kay Place, tells Connie that whenever “I look at you, and I look right in your eyes and all I see are a bunch of trashy daydreams.” There was also a memorable moment when Connie and her mother had a fight which resulted in Connie's mother into slapping her across the face. However, in the film, there is a theme of family values throughout unlike the story which projects self-discovery as a …show more content…
The essential story of both presents a girl who is discovering herself, sexually and maturely. However, it differs when it comes towards the end of the story. Joyce, the author of the short story, mentions that the ending of her story couldn't be “filmable.” “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been” ends with Connie leaving the safety of her house to go with Arnold Friend (page 516). Despite that, the film shows an actual conclusion to Connie's story. The film ends with Connie returning home with Arnold Friend. She turned around to Arnold and told him that Connie never wanted to see him again. She goes home to her family: her mother runs towards her apologizing for hitting her and her father mentions how much they missed her at the family barbeque. The film ended with Connie and her sister sharing a dance together and hugging. To have an ending to the film and not the short story that it's based on is confusing. The author of the short story tells her readers that the ending is “unfilmable,” probably because the story was loosely based on the serial killer, Charles Schmid, who prayed on young girls and murdered. It could have been thought to believe that Connie was kidnapped and murdered. That wasn't the case with the film, which shows an ending that suited the “family values”

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