We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
GO TO SAT PREP GO TO ACT PREP
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

  

by Joyce Carol Oates

Analysis: Tone

Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?

Sympathetic, Serious

Since the story is told largely from Connie's point of view, it's generally sympathetic toward her as it explores her thoughts and feelings. Even when criticizing how superficial her romantic notions are, you get the sense that the narrator maintains a kind of affection for Connie. (This reminds us a little of the tone of Jane Austen's Emma). The tone of those vivid and sensuous descriptions of Connie as she daydreams, for example, is in marked contrast to the dismissive tone her mother takes toward her fantasies. The tone gets increasingly serious as the threat of violence escalates in Connie's encounter with Arnold Friend.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement