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Compare and contrast the two stories, Black Men in Public Space by Brent Staples and Where are you Going, Where have you Been by Joyce Carol Oates - Essay Example

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For example, in the business world, it is often warned that “Within the first few seconds, people pass judgment on you – looking for common surface…
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Compare and contrast the two stories, Black Men in Public Space by Brent Staples and Where are you Going, Where have you Been by Joyce Carol Oates
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Extract of sample "Compare and contrast the two stories, Black Men in Public Space by Brent Staples and Where are you Going, Where have you Been by Joyce Carol Oates"

Download file to see previous pages This can be seen in the short stories “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates through her characters Connie and Arnold Friend as well as in “Black Men in Public Space” by Brent Staples through the narrator’s own experiences.
The first character to be introduced in Oates’ story is Connie, a teenaged girl just beginning to discover the world outside of her parents’ home. As this character is examined, a trope is revealed in her name itself. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the definitions of ‘trope’ is “a word or expression used in a figurative sense” (2009). Connie’s name suggests a person involved in a con, or farce of some kind as she certainly is. At home, she is the typical lazy but innocent teenager, but in public she attempts to become someone quite different. “Everything about her had two sides to it; one for home and one for anywhere that was not home: her walk, which could be childlike and bobbing, or languid enough to make anyone think she was hearing music in her head; her mouth, which was pale and smirking most of the time, but bright and pink on these evenings out” (Oates). She is not what she seems to be which makes her a ‘con’ artist. Her mother understands her to be irritating and lazy but generally innocent while Oates makes it clear that Connie has been sexually active in opening her story with an example of Connie’s typical evenings out as she ditches her friend in order to spend the evening with a boy named Eddie. “She spent three hours with him, at the restaurant where they ate hamburgers and drank Cokes in wax cups that were always sweating, and then down an alley a mile or so away, and when he left her off at five to eleven only the movie house was still open at the plaza” (Oates). While her mother continues to have an impression of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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