Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Short Story Analysis

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For centuries, folklore has defined different cultures around the world. Many of these tales have been adapted into mainstream media for children by companies such as Disney. Unsurprisingly, Disney leaves out a lot of the original stories. The fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen are meant to express topics involving the loss of innocence that young ones are not expected to know. Amidst modern literature, Joyce Carol Oates’s inserts similar connotations in her 1966 short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been.” Surely, Connie is flawed and the perfect princesses people think they know are no different. The short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” and common fairy tales represent the theme of loss of innocence through the characters’ lust, defiance, and vanity.
One way loss of innocence is portrayed amid fairy tales and Oates’s short story is through lust. Clearly, Connie has desires to be with men. Even when Arnold Friend,
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In Oates’s short story, Connie’s hobbies are introduced to the reader. Connie frequently goes to the drive-in restaurant, but keeps her actions in secrecy from her family. After all these late-night endeavors, even her best friend’s father “never [knows] what they ha[ve] done” (Oates 1). Connie’s mother believes “[she cannot] do a thing,” but outside home, Connie’s “kissing sessions [with boys]” continuously degrade her level of purity (Tierce and Crafton 221). A connection can be made to the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of “Rapunzel.” Rapunzel does not let the enchantress, “a mother” to her, know anything about her relationship with the King’s son (The Brothers Grimm 45). In the course of Rapunzel’s deception, she commits intercourse with the King’s son, directly going against her “mother’s” wishes to “separate [her] from all the world” (The Brothers Grimm

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