A Loss Of Innocence

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A Loss of Innocence Joyce Carol Oates wrote "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" about a young teenage girl's loss of innocence. An older man takes advantage of her by playing with her mind and emotions. Joyce Carol Oates wrote this short story in a third person limited omniscient point of view in order to gain the reader's sympathy for the central character.

The author wrote the story in a third person limited omniscient point of view. This is shown when the author writes "her mind was all filled with trashy daydreams" and "she knew she was pretty and that was everything." These statements show that the narrator had knowledge of Connie's thoughts providing evidence of a third person omniscient point of view. Other examples are "her mind slipped over onto thoughts of the boy she had been with the night before" and "she remembered him even better."

There is no mention of the thoughts of the other characters throughout the story. Only observations are given, "he seemed to become embarrassed" and "his voice dipped as if he were conscious of a rudeness." This shows that the point of view is limited omniscient since only the thoughts of one character are known and not those of all the characters.

Joyce Carol Oates uses the third person limited omniscient point of view to gain the reader's sympathy for the young girl. She wants the reader to know all of Connie's thoughts and emotions to show the girl's transition from being confident and ignorant to being naïve and afraid. Connie is very confident in the beginning, "Connie thought that her mother preferred her to June just because she was prettier." Then Connie seems to switch attitudes becoming young and innocent, "she put her hands up against her ears as if she'd heard something terrible, something not meant for her." Near the end of the story, Connie seems helpless and frightened; "she was so sick with fear that she could do nothing" and "she felt her breath start jerking back and forth in her lungs as if it were something Arnold Friend was stabbing her with again and again." These statements portray the extreme fear Connie was experiencing. These images also force the reader to sympathize with the young girl.

Joyce Carol Oates wrote this short story in a third person limited omniscient point of view in order to gain the reader's sympathy for the central character. The images given by the author vividly depicted Connie's innocence. Without knowing Connie's thoughts and emotions, her true innocence would have never been revealed.