Joyce Carol Oates

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Catalina Pension
Mrs. Wall
English 1102
21 April 2011

Joyce Carol Oates uses characterization and the coming of age effectively in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, “Four Summers”, and “The Girl with the Blackened Eye”. She uses it to connect the three stories to each other. Connie and the girl in “The Girl with the Blackened Eye” are connected because they were both violated by a man. Connie and Sissie were both connected because they were both influenced by their families’ ways on how they lived their lives. Joyce Carol Oates is noted for her ability to create stories with terror and also known for the descriptive violence in her portrayals of America life. Gothic elements, emphasizing the mysterious and horrifying suspects of life also appear frequently in Oates’s writing. Violence, often male and sexual, consistently plays an important role in the lives of her characters. Oates’s female characters are abused and tormented by men in various ways. Joyce Carol Oates uses violence in two out of the three short stories I read. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, Connie is taken away from her home and her family by a man. In “The Girl with the Blackened Eye”, a girl is forcibly abducted and raped by a serial killer. They never give the girl an actual name. Joyce Carol Oates is known for writing about violence towards women. These two girls were both forced to grow up fast. Oates uses characterization to show how her characters are seen by the audience. Both Connie and the other girl have to be strong. They are faced with violence from a man. These girls are strong Connie at first wants to be grown and be wiser than she is. She wants to get attention from boys and men older than her. Connie has nothing going for her and nothing else to go off of buy her looks. She is beautiful. Everybody else sees that she is beautiful to. That can be a dangerous thing and for Connie it was. She goes around flirting and wears provocative clothes. Connie...
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