The following questions need to be answered to the following story with the link attached.
QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ANSWERED IN PARAGRAPH FORM!!
1. Why do you believe Oates uses animal/supernatural comparisons in “Where…” ? In other words, what is the author trying to show us or make us think of with her word choices? Feel free to use the examples provided or add your own.
2. Explain how the house functions as metaphor in “Where…”: “The place where you came from ain’t there any more, and where you had in mind to go is cancelled out. The place you are now – inside your daddy’s house – is nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down any time. You know that and always did know it.”
3. Why is it significant that she is “moving out into the sunlight” into the “vast reaches of land on all sides of him – so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to it.” What does this mean?
4. What is it about Connie that makes Arnold Friend target her as he does? How has her culture shaped her to attract such a person?
5. How does he lure her out of her house? Is she acting heroically at this point, is she powerless, or does something else motivate her to open the door? What evidence supports either point of view (both of which have been suggested by Oates and critics)? Since no sane person would really open that door, how does this consideration prompt allegorical readings of the story?
6. So, what happens to Connie? Why do you think Oates left the ending ambiguous?
7. “Neutral Tones” relies on bird imagery, but the poem also depends on color – or lack of color. Why do you believe the poet chooses to use neutral tones for this poem? Instead of using a yellow sun, why is the sun white, for example? Why does the poet choose to describe the sun that way? Do you find his choices effective or confusing? Why?
8. Identify and explain several examples of death imagery in “Neutral Tones.” Why do you believe the poet included those images? What do they add to the poem?
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