The Separation from Childhood and Entrance into Womanhood
In the story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” Joyce Carol Oates describes a teenager’s emotional turmoil during the transition to womanhood. Connie, the main character of this story is a fifteen years old girl. She is in the stage to leave childhood and enter womanhood, which causes her behavior to change. This behavior change causes conflict (plot) between Connie and her mother. She argues with her mother all the time because she does not like the way she acts and does things. As a result of this conflict she is attracted to someone who is not good for her and poses a great threat to her, and her family. At the end of the story Connie makes a sacrifice to keep her family safe. The character is fifteen years old and she is in the age where her behavior changes. She has dark blonde hair and feels old enough and she thinks that she knows everything. She is naïve and does not like to help in the house with any of the chores or anything. Connie also feels like she is not as smart or as good her sister because her mother is always comparing them. Her mother also gets mad when she stares at the mirror, “Stop gawking at yourself, who are you? You think you’re so pretty” (389). She does not say anything because she really knows she is beautiful. Connie and her friend like to go “across the highway, ducking fast across the busy road, to a drive-in restaurant where older kids hung out” (389). In this place she meets Eddie a boy from her school, who invites her to eat. Furthermore, she also sees a boy with shaggy hair in a convertible car, who was watching her. He shakes his finger and says, “Gonna get you, baby.” (390). After she sees this boy her life starts to change. Connie needs attention from a different source to understand what is happening and why she should not try to appear older than she is. In this fiction story there is conflict between a fifteen year girl and her mother....
Cited: Carol Oates, Joyce. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" Portable Literature. 8th ed. Boston: Michael Rosenberg, 2012. 388-400. Print.
Everyone has their own points of view. When it comes to a teen girl who is between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, it very hard to try to get them to understand that they need to live life at the age they are, and not try to look or act older than they really are. In Connie’s case she thinks that because she is fifteen years old she knows it all, therefore her point of view and her mother’s clash all the time. There is almost a ten year difference between her sister June and herself, but since she wants to be treated like her sister she thinks that she needs to act and look as if she were older. She attempts to have a point of view like or similar to what she thinks an older and mature girl would.
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