Analyzing Joyce Carol Oates 'The Scandal'

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Cynthia I. Zamora Kirstie L. Musgrove ENGL 1302-3002 19 May 2012 The Scandal! As time elapses, many of our beliefs, morals, and even actions change. I can recall the time when my grandmother narrated a story of how young girls were punished and even isolated for not following the moral code of conduct in her town. I remember the distraught look on her face and even get chills as I picture the tears in her eyes. It must have been difficult to live up to those expectations because she explained how a girl was not to go out past 7pm. Then my mother gave the same lecture on the way a young girl should speak, dress, and act in during her times. There have been many instances where teenage girls appear to be in control of their lives,…show more content…
One might as why these teenage girls impersonate an entirely different person. Some may say that this is mainly due to being rebellious or bad. The sad but true reality is that most of these girls simply are in search for independence and a fulfillment of their fantasies. In the story titled “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates Connie a young teenager who while away from home acts in such a mature way that sends out the wrong message. Connie fails to realize the great danger she takes on while over exaggerating her appearance and attitude. Her sister on the other hand conducts herself as a more modest girl and is the ideal vision of a “good” girl. Connie was in constant discord with her family because they did not approve of her actions but she cared less for she continued on with her conceited, selfish ways. "Why don't you keep your room clean like your sister? How've you got your hair fixed—what the hell stinks? Hair spray? You don't see your sister using that junk” (Oates 371). In this paragraph, it is evident of the disapproval of her mother for the way she does her hair and her lack of…show more content…
If they lack something at home or simply have a high standard to meet they may tend to become rebellious and end up making the wrong decisions. Some may just have fantasies of marrying a nice man, having a beautiful wedding, and being a happy wife and mother. In the story, “No One’s a Mystery”, the narrator is a young teenage girl that is having an affair with an older man who is married. She relates the events that took place on her eighteenth birthday with her married boyfriend Jack. “I knelt on my side of the seat and craned around to look at the butterfly of dust printed on my jeans,” said the narrator as she got up from the bottom of the truck and into her seat demonstrating that she is very young and childlike (Oates 358). The description the narrator gives as she talks about the Wyoming landscape also leads us to think about how young and naïve she is. She uses descriptions like “dazzling in the heat” and “the wheat was fawn and yellow and parted smoothly by the thin dirt road” (Oates 359). With youth, come inexperience, fantasies, childish decisions, and innocent romanticism. Her vision of life at this point in her life is a quick wedding, devotion, domestic roles, and child rearing. Young girls need direction and focus in their lives and as I stated before in the previous analysis of “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” a lack of

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