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Violence in Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going?” Story

This short story by Carol Oates does not describe a single episode of violence or an act of aggression, but somehow it scares you more than any story about rape or coercion. You can only «watch from a distance» how a dangerous person persuades a young girl to come out. The tension rises with every new paragraph, and by the end of the story, you are almost as scared and anxious as Connie herself.

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Oates claimed that her text is based on real events, murders, that took place in Arizona. However, if to forget about it, it is possible to find some other ideas in the story. The encounter between the girl and the mysterious man can be interpreted both as meeting a Devil or growing up (Oates, 1966).

The sharp contrast between the cheerful and even playful beginning and the hopeless end of the story highlights the horror of the situation itself. You meet the heroine, Connie, as a young, carefree teenager, who has just started living and learning about life in general. By the end of the story, Connie turns into a scared, exhausted creature, almost an animal trapped by a hunter. Her simple life, full of minor worries and quarrels with her mother, is about to end while you have just started getting to know her. It may be done specifically to show how sudden and terrifying such occurrences are in real life.

Also, the story leaves you with a question: Why did she come out? I am not sure the author did a good job to show how a skillful manipulator managed to persuade a scared young girl to walk right into her rapist’s arms. Maybe if Oates evaluated a little bit on their dialogue, it would have been more clear.

Reference

Oates, C. (1966). Where are you going? Where have you been? Epoch Magazine.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 22). Violence in Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going?” Story. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/violence-in-carol-oates-where-are-you-going-story/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 22). Violence in Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going?” Story. https://studycorgi.com/violence-in-carol-oates-where-are-you-going-story/

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StudyCorgi. "Violence in Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going?” Story." July 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/violence-in-carol-oates-where-are-you-going-story/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Violence in Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going?” Story." July 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/violence-in-carol-oates-where-are-you-going-story/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Violence in Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going?” Story'. 22 July.

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