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Folktales: Comparison with Joyce Carol Oate´s Where are you Going, Where Have you Been?

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There are many commonalities between “Where are you going, Where have you been?” and other folktales too. One such folktale is Cinderella. In the story of Cinderella, she is often dreaming of escaping the situation she is in. Connie also dreams of escaping the constant nagging that she is receiving from her mother. She also wants to escape constantly being compared to her older sister June. Every girl also wants to be attractive and has this want to feel pretty or appear pretty to others. In the story of Cinderella, she is often dressed in tattered and dirty clothing while at home and doing chores (Kozikowski). This is why going to the ball and wearing the big gown is such a big deal for her. For once in her life she feels and looks beautiful. Connie is struggling with the same sort of self-image problem. Connie is constantly being told by her mother that she should be more like her big sister June. Whether it is her hair being dirty or her room not being clean enough, she constantly feels like she will never be good enough or as perfect as her older sister. Both Cinderella and Connie have to deal with a family who does not full appreciate them or give them any of the support they need. Cinderella is made to think that her sisters are much better than she is and much prettier than she is as well (Kozikowski). She is made to do chores and labor to make her less beautiful and desirable to others. Connie’s situation, although not as bad as Cinderella’s, is one of constant comparison and judgment. She too had to live with the constant reminder that her mother feels like her sister is better than her in every possible aspect. Just as Cinderella, Connie is immediately associated with a feeling of helplessness and uncleanliness from the ...


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...etends to be a young boy to lure Connie in, the wolf pretends to be a familiar presence to the girl to trick her into coming to him. What else is interesting is that neither of these characters were acting malicious to just anyone. Both of them had planned out exactly who their prey was going to be and set out to do harm to them. Although these stories parallel each other very well there are a few differences between them. Perhaps the biggest difference between them is the fact that one of the characters overcomes the evil presence in her life and the other does not (Theriot). Connie was not able to overcome the force of evil in the form of Arnold Friend, but Little Red Riding Hood was able to foil the wolf’s plans to lure her in. Either way both of these girls would have been better off if they had just followed that age old childhood rule; never talk to strangers.



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