The Desire for Love


"Smooth Talk"

Joyce Carol Oates wrote “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” and it was used for the movie “Smooth Talk”. Although the movie is based off of the story it had its own twist to it. They are about a teenage girl named Connie who is living the typical teenage life. She can never live up to her sister June and her parents let her know that every day, especially her mother. Just like your average teenage girl, Connie does not get along with her mother at all. This is because her mother can see herself in Connie and knows exactly what she is up to. Connie and her group of friends live out in the country but travel into town a lot on their summer vacation. The girls spend their time at the mall looking for boys or at the movies. These trips to the town ultimately leads to trouble for her with Arnold Friend. The story and movie are extremely similar but are not completely the same.

In both the story and the movie you can see the theme is the desire for romance. For Connie love leads her into a terrifying nightmare. Although Connie does not love Arnold Friend it is because she was chasing love around that she stumbled across him. In the story when Arnold comes to Connie’s house to pick her up she does not want to go with him and becomes scared. Arnold’s whole attitude is changed when Connie is refusing to go. Finally Arnolds threatens her family and gets her to come outside the house. That is where the book ends leaving you clueless to what happened next. Although she goes to him it is unpredictable to say what happens next. Even though Connie hated her family in the end she makes a sacrifice to save them from Arnold friend. Maybe it was because, “Connie’s insecurity about her own self-worth” (Nicole Holmen), she felt as if they were more important than her and would be better off without her. The movie was different from the story because in the movie it does not end with that, it continues on with the incident. The movie does not leave the audience questioning what happens. It leaves the audience with a traumatic ending that they could not have seen coming.

Although the story and film are very similar and follow the same plot; the film added a whole beginning and an answer to the ending of the book. The story the movie is based off of is a short story, meaning that even though it is very detailed and informational the film had to have more to it. The film starts off extremely slow showing the life of these teenage girls. Where in the story, it basically starts right before; Arnold goes to Connie’s house. The story gets right to the point. The story leaves the reader with many questions at the end, while the film answers the questions and more. So even though the story and film have the same theme and same plot there are still differences and additions that the story didn’t have.

In conclusion, the movie and story are almost ideal. The extremely detailed story is portrayed out in the movie. The actors and actresses resemble the characters that are described throughout the story. The movie adds its own twist to the story so that it has its own uniqueness. The plot and theme are the same in the story as they are in the movie; but the movie has additional scenes that aren’t in the story. Love is the downfall of Connie in both. Although the story and movie are almost mirror image of each other the movie added a beginning and ending that clarifies all questions that reads might have after reading “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”. After reading the story and watching the “Smooth Talk” I believe that the movie adapted the story perfectly and added just enough new things to make it a great movie.


Unit 2 Paper


Justin Haney

ENG 231.02

Professor Lucas

4 November 2014

The Unborn Child

The two stories “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” by Russell Banks and “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway are extremely similar and have very little difference in the plot. These two stories are alike because both have a couple that has to make a tough decision in which to have a baby or to have an abortion. With each story having one member of the relationship who wants the abortion and the other one having a tough timing agreeing. The stories are similar in the main point being about a huge decision and are different in ways such as to who wants the abortion and the surrounding in which the conversations are going on in; both writers add their own unique twist to their stories.

In Russell Banks story the couple is on the lake for a day of fishing and tanning. The atmosphere sent the tone to be very secluded and lonely. It is as if the whole fishing and tanning were just a set up to lighten the mood between the two who have such a serious decision to make. In this story the female has big news to tell her boyfriend making for an awkward uneasy day on the lake. The female in the story has made the decision on her own to get rid of the baby. The male doesn’t quite disagree with her choice but at the same time feels as if it is the wrong choice too. She has already made up her mind and moving on the decision to have an abortion whether he agrees or disagrees.

In “Hills Like White Elephants” the man and woman are sitting at a small bar at the train station waiting for their train to arrive. It is as if they are the only ones in the bar and even in the train station. This feeling of loneliness in both of the stories goes along with the decision that these two couples are making. The only people that can make the choice to have an abortion are them, it is no one decision but themselves and the setting brings that to our attention. By them being secluded from the world it helps the reader understand better that the decision to be mad can only come from these couples. This is a very big similarity seen in both stories.

In Hemingway’s story the man has made the decision and almost seems to be forcing it on to the woman. He tells her that everything will be better and go back to the way it was before. All the she wants is for him to be happy and for them to be good again. He goes about the situation as if it is more about their relationship rather than the unborn child they are talking about. The couple is drinking beer and talking about the situation as if fixing their relationship is more important and that the child is just a problem that needs to be taken care for them to be good together and happy again.

In “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” the female is the one who has made the choice to have the abortion. She is the one telling the man that she already has an appointment set up and that her more is going to take her to have the procedure done. The man doesn’t quite want the abortion but agrees that it is for the best that it is done. By her mother going with her to the procedure shows that it is a big deal and that she will need someone there for moral support and comfort. In “Hills Like White Elephants” the male is the main one making the decision but he is doing so in a bar drinking beer with his pregnant girlfriend. The scene doesn’t seem as serious as it does in the other story with the two on the lake. It goes to show that the male drinking the beer is more worried about the relationship than the child.

These two stories both include a couple making a huge decision on whether to have an abortion or to keep the baby. In that way the couple is similar also the outcome of each conversation is the same, they both choose to have an abortion. Although they have similarities the couple’s way of dealing with the situation is very different. The couple in “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” are more serious about the situation it is as if they are younger than the couple in Hemingway’s story. They struggle to agree on their choice and the female has already decided to go ahead with the abortion and has an appointment set up and is going with her mother. The fact that she is going with her mother shows that she still needs her mom in big situations. In Hemingway’s story the couple is more laid back and just wants to make each other happy. This couple is going to the operation together and uses each other for support as if they are older and in a more serious relationship. These points show that these stories have difference even though they are extremely similar.

Clearly these two stories are related in many ways, but still have their own unique twist to them. Both of them deal with a life changing decision and in each story they handle it a little different than they did in the other one. Every story has its own unique touches added in and those are the little differences between these two stories. The choice to have an abortion is an extremely big decision and both Hemingway and Banks portray that and even though both couples made the same decision coming up with their answers was different. These two authors show one of many struggles couples go through in life and making the decision is even harder but the route to finding the answer is different for everyone.

Final draft


Justin Haney

ENG 231.02

Professor Lucas

18 September 2014

How to get that one girl

In Junot Diaz story “How to date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” A young man give his advice on dating. He walks the reader step by step on what they should expect and what they should do with each type of girl. Every girl has different likes and dislikes; he helps guide you the right way with his advice. He is a young Dominican male who lives in a New Jersey urban neighborhood.

Throughout the story Junot Diaz specifies which races he is talking about. Races in this story is the main plot because not only is this a guide on how to date a girl, but it is multiple guides in one about each specific race “The white ones are the ones you want most,”(278). Junot Diaz is very specific in his quote with which race he is talking about and goes even further to say that the white girls are the ones the reader wants. He does not call them girls or by names, he almost makes it sound as if they are an object rather than a human being.

He refers to each race different showing the differences in all the cultures. Throughout the story he changes perspective on the girls as he talks about a specific race. “A local girl… She might just chill with you and then go home… A whitegirl might just give it up,” (279) he different views of each races seen in the quote. Each race has their own unique habits when it comes to this specific topic. Junot Diaz goes into detail to make sure the reader has a clear understanding.

The detail of each races background is very clear when he talks about the parents of the girls. When he talks about meeting the mother as she drops off her daughter he says, “If she’s a halfie don’t be surprised that her mother is white,” (278). The quote is a stereotypical comment because he is implying that the majority of mixed couples are white females and African American males. He goes into detail about each race to specify every like detail about them that will help the reader out and to prepare them.

Junot Diaz throughout the story talks about dating different girls but goes into detail about each and informs the reader on the race of each girl. The race of the girl is the main plot in the story because he is reaching out to every guy not just one race. This broadens his audience so each one can relate to what he is talking about and can use this story as a guide for dating. The author is extremely detail in his writing and leaves no questions left unanswered that the reader might have. Whether the author is accurate with his information about dating brown girls, black girls, white girls, or mixed girls, he writes the truth of how different the races are from one another.

Work Cited

Diaz, Junot. “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie.” The Story and Its Writer. Compact 9th ed. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 277-79.