What are the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of the short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The exposition for this story, or the background information, include the description of Connie's home life, her family, her relationship with her parents and how they view her as opposed to her sister June.

The rising action begins with Connie's realization that she is pretty and enjoys attracting boys and flirting.  Connie's actions of sneaking away with Eddie, a boy she took off with when she was  supposed to be with her girlfriends makes her feel very smug and successful at being able to fool her parents.  

Although her mother is suspicious of what Connie is doing, she does nothing about it.  She just complains about her daughter's behavior.

The climax of the story comes when the two men come to Connie's house. She is alone, her family has gone to a barbecue. 

When Arnold Friend and Ellie arrive at her house, she is initially excited about the possibility that she was being sought out.  She even thinks that she remembers one of the boys.

The falling action occurs as Connie struggles psychologically with the two men, not boys, and realizes that they have come to harm her.  She is helpless and alone.  She is manipulated by Arnold Friend, he convinces her that she must go along with them, or her whole family will be harmed. 

The resolution occurs when Connie submits to Arnold Friend and leaves the house to join him in his car.  

eabettencourt eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You must be sure to include the idea of conflict when discussing rising action, climax, and falling action.  The rising action is when the main conflict is introduced and the protagonist typically makes some attempts at solving said conflict.  For instance, if the major conflict of this story is read as an inner conflict for Connie as she comes of age, the rising action must include how she initially begins to deal with this conflict, such as exploring her independence when out with her friends, or staying behind while her sister and parents go to a family party.

The climax is then when the protagonist typically makes a decision about how to definitely deal with the conflict.  The falling action is the process of the character carrying out said decision.

kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Through the summary of the story, located on eNotes through this link: http://www.enotes.com/where-are/summary, you will be able to discern what each is.  In order to do so, you must understand what each of these literary terms means.  Exposition is the introduction to the story in which you get background on the setting, characters, situation, etc.  Rising action is the events leading up to the climax, which is the moment of highest tension in the story.  Falling action is the events leading to the resolution of the story, which is its conclusion or end, when a conflict has been resolved or sometimes not resolved. 

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