Short story interpretation W4

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  • Minimum of 3 outside resources (Resources may include .edu or .org website and/or peer-reviewed journal articles from the TU library.) 

Introduction
Foster has his comments about irony, and Lecture 1 discusses the “inevitable surprise.” With Connie, we see a teenage girl who meets a horrible end. The question is whether this is an inevitable surprise or whether her being victim of a psychopath has nothing to do with her habits as a character. Certainly no one should meet this end; that goes without saying. However, in regard to the character, questions arise about whether Connie’s attitude and social life lured a killer to her midst. 

Activity Instructions
Write two to three pages on the following:

  • Write an essay on “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” citing quotes and passages from the story, Foster’s chapter on irony, and the lectures on wishes and deceit. To what extent did Connie’s wish to be older, cooler, and the object of male affection – in addition to decisions she makes throughout the story – leave her in a position where she would become Arnold Friend’s victim? Consider the following sub-question:
    • To what extent is Arnold Friend the dark side of granting Connie’s wish? Did he use deceit to prey upon her wish? 

Write one to two pages on the following:

  • As part of your conclusion, research Oates’s inspiration for Arnold Friend or an actual criminal of a similar nature – one suggestion is Ted Bundy. Was Connie representative of the types of young women who ended up being victims?

Optional – write one to two pages on the following:

  • Rent the film Smooth Talk, the screen adaptation of Oates’s story. How has the film version added to or detracted from Oates’s written version?

Writing Requirements (APA format)

  • 5-7 pages (approx. 300 words per page), not including the reference page
  • 1-inch margins
  • Double spaced
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Reference page (minimum of 3 outside resources)
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