COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE STORIES OF ' THE SPUNK' BY Zora Neale Hurston AND 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been
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Compare and Contrast
English language is full of many stories that have been written to inspire, motivate or simply entertain the readers. There are many types of stories, which have been declared, masterpieces and they are acknowledged by the readers and critics as well. In such stories, the writers try to put up the best possible story and plot for the readers, and this effort can be clearly seen outshining form their settings, choice of words and the arrangement of events in an organized pattern.
Two of such masterpieces are selected for the analysis in the following essay. One story is titled as "Spunk" written by Zora Neale Hurston, and the other story is named “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” penned down by Joyce Carol Oates. The following essay will compare and contrast both the stories and will look into the elements that are similar and contrasting in both these tales.
“Spunk” is a tale about a man Spunk, who has got a huge physique and his illegitimate lady love, Luna, who is already married to Joe Kanty. Luna is cheating on her husband with Spunk which is first pointed out by Elijah, a clever and wordy person who is an influential individaul of the clan. When Joe comes to hear of this, he picks a fight with Spunk but gets killed with the bullet from Spunk’s gun. In the end, Spunk also gets killed by even a bigger blade and sees a big black bobcat while dying. The whole village believes that it was the spirit of Joe that had come to take its revenge.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
“Where are you going, Where have you been?" is a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates. It was first published in the fall edition of 1996 of Epoch magazine. As per Oates, the story was an inspiration from an article written by Don Moser in the Life magazine on March 4, 1966. The article was about three Tucson, Arizona murders that were committed by Charles Schmid. The story was originally named "Death and the Maiden," and Oates claims to dedicate it to Bob Dylan, as she got the idea of writing this story after listening to her song “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,”
The story is about a young girl, Connie, who is 15 years old and very self-obsessed. She is very curious about her looks and keeps admiring herself in the mirror all the time. He mother constantly keep nagging her for this behavior and tells her not to spend too much time in front of the mirror. Connie does not like her mother's advice, and thus does not pay much attention to her words. He mother continually tells her to take an example of her elder sister, Jane, who is very mature and responsible and everyone adores her for her behavior (Oates).
Connie frequently goes out will her best friend, telling the family that she is going out to the mall and sneaks out to bars and restaurants. She often gets frank with random strangers. Once when at the restaurant, she met a stranger, in a golden convertible, whom she vowed to meet later. Then one day when her family had gone out for a barbeque party, she noticed the same golden convertible in her porch. The same man forces her to come and sit in his car. When Connie refuses, he kills her family e and forcefully takes her with him.
There are multiple similarities in both the similarities. The first and the foremost similarity is the behavior of the main character of the stories; both the ladies in the lead role have been portrayed cheating on their family and spouse respectively. Another striking similarity lies in the story or the plot, which includes a crime at the end, in the form of murders.
Along with the similarities, there also exist various differences between these stories. The first difference lies in the time period or the era in which both these stories have been written. There is a big difference between the eras of both tales. "Spunk" has been set up in the period of the 19th century when technology has not become so much widespread, and people were not aware of inventions like the telephone and automobiles. “Where Are You Going, Where have you been?” has been planned in a comparatively modern era, as it mentions the names and use of latest inventions like the telephone, the radio, and cars (especially convertible). Another contrast appears in the age differences of both the cheating ladies. In Spunk, the main lead is a young, teenage girl, with a careless attitude. While the other story portrays the main character in the form of a mature middle-aged, married woman.
In short, it can be seen that both the stories are similar in some aspects and also have some different areas. Both the stories are about a female cheating their families and hooking up with a male. Another similarity that exists between both these stories is that they both include murders. The difference between both the fables lies in the time period of the stories; Spunk had been written with respect to the 19th century when the technology had not prevailed much, and the humans had not started living a modern life. The tale "Where Are You Going, Where have you been?" has been set up in a comparatively recent period with the mention of telephone and automobiles.
Hurston, Zora Neale, and Françoise Brodsky. Spunk. Zulma, 1993.
Oates, Joyce Carol, and Tobias Wolff. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?. Difusión, Centro de Investigación y Pubicaciones de Idiomas, 2013.
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