illustration of a young girl, Connie, reflected in the sunglasses of a man, Arnold Friend

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

by Joyce Carol Oates
Start Free Trial

Is "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" an example of interpretive or escape literature

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Hi!

I moved your title to "Where are you going, where have you Been" from "Paul's Case", just so you know.

Yes, "Where are you going, Where have You Been" would be considered intepretive and not escape literature. First, it was based on true events that inspired the author to re-tell the story from a different perspective to send out a message, not merely to entertain. Also, there is symbolism in the story; for example, the man represents the evils and the robbery of innocence; her behavior also represents the break from the norm, etc.  Having symbolism automatically would classify the story as interpretive: There is way more than meets the eye, a gist is going to be reached, and there is a message implied.

Contrary to this Escape literature is fictional and made to entertain, to "take you away from reality" and "escape for a bit". None of that amusement and escapism is achieved in a story like "Where are you Going". Hope this helps!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team