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When Where Are You Going Where have you been was written in 1966 it was interpreted many different ways Many feminist and womens rights groups saw the story as an symbol of violence against women Others believed it was a demonstration of pure realism and the grotesque Joyce Carol Oates has never substantiated or refuted any of these claims her only comment on the story being that Bob Dylans song Its All Over Now Baby Blue was on her mind while writing it No matter what view one takes on the purpose of the story Where Are You Going Where Have You Been has never been argued as a tragedy Although it does seem almost tragic at the end when Connie sacrifices herself for her family the story is no tragedy Where Are You Going Where Have You Been lacks all of the elements Aristotle considered necessary to be qualified as a tragedy hamartia catharsis and the fall of a high personThe fall of a high person qualifies such stories as Hamlet for it is the Prince of Denmark that declines throughout the play and dies at the end Paradise Lost is not only about the fall of man but about the destruction of Lucifer who was the Archangel of light just about as high as you get But Connies fall in Where Are You Going Where Have You Been is hardly the fall of a high person Connie is a 15-year-old girl who lives on the outskirts of a not so big town Her mother does nothing but criticize her Connie and compare her to her sister June who is plain chunky and a secretary Connies father doesnt even take the time to ask Connie what she does every night in town Perhaps if Connie represented some quality or virtue such as innocence or honesty it could be argued that she was a high person Connie is vain always glancing in mirrors or checking
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