"where Have You Been, Where Are You Going" by Oates and "A Small, Good thing" by Raymand Caver.

Essay by spiderman7431University, Bachelor'sA, September 2003

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Comparison & Contrast of Short Fiction

Although there are many common grounds by comparing the two typical stories "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Oates and "A Small, Good Thing" by Raymond Carver, but each writer has its own purposes and points through the essences of their story to convey its readers in order to achieve their goal. As a product of middle class American descendants, this made Oates and Carver in common as a symbol of criticasters of the cultural and social structures of middle class America. Both of them have pointed out the postwar America had created an environment of alienated, loneliness, and pointless suburban life style with no outlets to its people. Definitely each of them represents a particular societal group that they want to focus in convincing: Oates attaches her importance to feminism and cultural significance, whereas Caver focuses on America's social and economical structures.

By looking at the allusions through the historical period and social context both "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" and "A Small, Good Thing" talked about the life style of middle class American. In "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Oates uses the character description of her protagonist the fifteen years old girl Connie's case to reveal dark side of the "hippie" idiom. The counterculture of the 60's as an era of seductive violence and danger of the freer attitudes toward sex and iconoclastic language, which is a common characteristic of the youth middle class American. An example excerpting from the story such as: "They went up through the maze of parked and cruising cars to the bright-lit, fly-infested restaurant, their faces pleased and expectant as if they were entering a sacred building that loomed out of the night to...