Mask is a word that conjures images of children trick or treating on Halloween or a masquerade ball, both of which are wonderful memories shared by many people. However, for some there is another side to the same word. Mask, is a word that makes some people think of lies, manipulations and deceit. The denotative meaning, according to Webster’s English Dictionary is: “a cover or partial cover for the face used for disguise; something that serves to conceal or disguise” (Webster-online).
Perhaps this is what Joyce Carol Oates was thinking about when she wrote “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? ” Maybe Angela Carter was thinking about different masks that people put on when she wrote the short story “The Company of Wolves. ” Both of these works of short fiction have strikingly similar connotative meanings behind this word, yet contrastingly different ways of telling the same tale. Joyce Carol Oates is an author of many talents. She has written novels, short stories and essays, some of which are penned under the pseudonyms of Lauren Kelly and Rosamond Smith.
In her work of short fiction “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? ,” Oates weaves a tale of deception, manipulation, sexuality and lies. The tale begins with a pretty fifteen year old girl named Connie who struggles with her identity. Being the protagonist, Connie appears to consider herself a skilled flirt that can handle any situation, as most fifteen-year-old girls do. Connie has come to display two different personas. She is a girl of two minds, one that is displayed at home and the other comes out everywhere else.
Short story: Title: One girl’s life In some village there is a one girl who did not have her father. Her father left her family at her childhood itself because her mother gave born to two girls so he left them. From then onwards the girl started to work hard and to feed their family. She became the topper of the class in every standard from her childhood. She joined in an engineering college which ...
To show this concept, Joyce Carol Oates writes, “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home” (Oates 63).
Connie is deceptive with her parents to get her way; however, lies, manipulations and her own sexuality do not work in her favor when she is confronted by the antagonist of the story, Arnold Friend. Arnold Friend first comes in contact with Connie when she goes to a drive-in restaurant across from the theatre where she and some friends are supposed to be seeing a movie.
Connie doesn’t pay much attention to Arnold at first, not until she encounters him again in her own driveway. At this meeting, Arnold comes off as manipulative, cunning, and fake. He practices romanticism as a symbol of control while using the illusion of a younger man to lure her in an attempt to make her feel more at ease. Connie has a strange feeling when she speaks with Arnold, that he is not what he appears to be, and she finds herself in a conflict with common sense and the manipulations that have become Arnold Friend.
Oates defines this by giving credence to Connie’s emotions as Connie has an epiphany while dealing with Arnold: Connie stared at him, another wave of dizziness and fear rising in her so that for a moment he wasn’t even in focus but was just a blur, standing there against his gold car, and she had the idea that he had driven up the driveway all right but had come from nowhere before that and belonged nowhere and that everything about him and even the music that was so familiar to her was only half real (Oates 70).
In this way, Oates is showing the reality of the situation in that Arnold Friend is not who or what he appears to be.
He is wearing a mask to disguise his true identity, while trying to lure Connie outside for his own devious purposes. This same concept also works for Angela Carter’s “The Company of Wolves”; however, Carter tells the tale in a much more gruesome and disturbing way. Angela Carter is best known for the magical realism she brings to her stories. Carter is not just an author; she is also an editor and translator as well. In Angela Carter’s work of short fiction “The Company of Wolves,” she creates a tale that uses a melancholy, almost sad tone when referencing the protagonist character of the wolf.
Where are you going, Where have you been. It can be argued that there are many different degrees of rape, and that in this story Connie may or may not have been raped. Rape can only be decided on a case-to-case basis, because even the most ordinary cases are not all same. In my mind it is clear that Connie was raped, because there is nothing normal about her situation, mainly because it's not ...
Carter shows this by revealing what appear to be the emotions of the wolf: That long-drawn, wavering howl has, for all its fearful resonance, some inherent sadness in it, as if the beasts would love to be less beastly if only they knew how and never cease to mourn their own condition. There is a vast melancholy in the canticles of the wolves, melancholy infinite as the forest, endless as these long nights of winter and yet that ghastly sadness, that mourning for their own, irremediable appetites, can never move the heart for not one phrase in it ints at the possibility of redemption; (Carter 133).
In this respect, the hidden yearnings of the wolf are revealed, and there is no longer a question as to the wolf’s state of being. However, being a wolf, deception and illusion are presented to gain trust and control while still being cunning and manipulative, sexuality and desire are being worked to lure the victim into a false sense of security. Whereas the beginning of the story is entirely regarding the wolf, the remainder comes into play with a young girl named “Red. “Red” is the antagonist of the story who is just reaching puberty and is confident in herself and in her judgment.
“Red” is independent, persistent, and unafraid of things she doesn’t understand. At the beginning of her journey, she is warned of wolves and naked men in the woods and is given a sharp knife to carry with her. Toward the end of her travels, she encounters a “handsome man” with a rifle who appears to be hunting. They strike up a conversation that leads to a wager when he pulls out a compass inferring that he can reach her destination before her; the prize is a kiss.
In several instances throughout the story, Angela Carter intertwines the cunning, deceptive nature of the wolf with raw sexuality and manipulations that is not seen in today’s fairy tales. A good example of this is when “Red” finally reaches her destination and realizes she has been deceived by the handsome man; Who’s there, he quavers in granny’s antique falsetto. Only your granddaughter. So she came in, bringing with her a flurry of snow that melted in tears on the tiles, and perhaps she was a little disappointed to see only her grandmother sitting beside the fire.
Where Does The Truth Lie? Rashomon is a film which allows you to come up with your own ending. You are told four stories, all completely different from one another, but about the same thing. As the viewer, you are to come up with your own truth. Also you are then forced to see why people may lie or embellish. Whether it be to keep themselves out of trouble or make themselves seem as if they are a ...
But then he flung off the blanket and sprang to the door, pressing his back against it so that she could no longer get out again (Carter 137).
In this instance, “Red” realizes that this handsome man is not what he portrays himself to be, forcing her to use her wits and womanhood to save her own life. She closed the window on the wolves threnody and took off her scarlet shawl, the colour of poppies, the colour of sacrifices, the colour of her menses, and, since her fear did her no good, she ceased to be afraid. Red” understands that she has no choice but to give in to the wolf or lose her life.
This concept is explained when “Red” begins to play into the desires of the wolf. The girl burst out laughing; she knew she was nobody’s meat. She laughed at him full in the face, she ripped off his shirt for him and flung it into the fire, in the fiery wake of her own discarded clothing… [She] will lay his fearful head on her lap and she will pick out the lice from his pelt and perhaps she will put the lice into her mouth and eat them, as he will bid her, as she would do in a savage marriage ceremony… [See! sweet and sound she sleeps in granny’s bed, between the paws of the tender wolf (Carter 138-139).
As “Red” and the wolf are involved in this cat and mouse game, all masks come off and the manipulator becomes the manipulated when “Red” turns the tables and gives herself willingly to him in the hopes of being spared her life. Both of these works of short fiction have the same tale to tell. Both Joyce Carol Oates and Angela Carter have a slightly different concept of a familiar story. While Oates’ story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? is post-fifties America, it still has the same deception, manipulation, cunning and sexuality that Carter’s “The Company of Wolves” has. The only seemingly arbitrary fact is that Carter’s story is set in a drastically different time. Even though these stories seem to be in contrast to one another, the overall theme remains. Not everything is as it appears to be. We all wear masks for various reasons; some are worn to deceive and manipulate while others may be worn out of desire and a yearning for comfort that may never come.
Can you tell me what the word theme means in a short story? According to Clugston (2010) The theme in a piece of literature is not a summary of the plot; it is not a statement about a dominant impression or mood; it is not a moral or proposition; it is not the attitude of the writer. The theme in a story is associated with an idea that lies behind the story. (p.126). The name of the short story ...