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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Oates and The Things They Carried by OBrien - Essay Example

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The paper "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Oates and The Things They Carried by O’Brien" highlights that Oates and O’Brien very clearly illustrate the way in which we live in a world divided between reality and fantasy through the lives of Connie and Lieutenant Cross…
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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Oates and The Things They Carried by OBrien
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Download file to see previous pages Life, by definition, brings many trials and tribulations as we move through its path, and in order to cope with the demands and suffering it imposes, our subconscious is able to take us out of reality to a world of fantasy; a world in which we have and do what we want not what we need, or what is imposed by society. Connie, the main character in ‘where are you going, where have you been?’ (Oates) was, in reality, an adolescent with little actual knowledge of adult life; in fantasy, however, she was a mature woman appealing to boys and men alike. She lived her life on the periphery between childhood and adulthood, whereupon she wavered from one side to the other. Her same clothes connoted different personas dependent on whether she was in or out of the home; her hairstyle, makeup and outward behavior changed to the occasion as to whether or not there were males in her vicinity, and she lived a life of pretence with her mother. In fact ‘everything about her had two sides to it’ (Oates 451). Even when feeling intimidated when confronted by Arnold Friend her thoughts still flickered back to the first time he had seen her and ‘how she had sucked in her breath’ (Oates 456) in an effort to appear more beguiling. 
When menaced by Friend, Connie seemed to take one step forward towards what she knew would be her reality as a woman but in the next instant, she took two steps back into her world of fantasy. At one moment she was frightened and felt threatened by Friend and the next she was making observations as to his reality in terms of his voice sounding like the man on the radio, his wearing of make-up, his age, and his wig; such a psychological switch may have been a means of defense to place what she then perceived as reality and a threat, as something that was, in fact, fantasy and not real.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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