Lesson 10 Teenagers:

Joyce Carol Oates


Pre-reading question:

1. Vocabulary: gawking, (paragraph 1); languid, (paragraph 5): squatter (try squat) (paragraph 6); maze (paragraph 6); pretense (paragraph 9); exasperation (paragraph 19); lilting (paragraph 55); dope, this is the slang definition, and doesn't mean drugs, either (paragraph 130); incantation, (paragraph 155).

2. Oates is noted for her ability to create stories with terror. How is she able to convey terror in this story? What methods does she use to allow us to feel Connie's growing fear?

Post-reading questions:

1. How is Connie characterized at the beginning of the story? In what ways does this characterization foreshadow the events that follow?
2. Who is Arnold Friend? What is the significance of his appearance? His language? His car?
3. What happens at the conclusion of the story? Why?
4. What are the implications of the story's title?
5. What is Ellie's structure in the story?

Related Links:

Celestial Timepiece, a JCO homepage: http://www.usfca.edu/fac-staff/southerr/jco.html

New York Times page on Oates: http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/07/05/specials/oates.html

Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" http://orad.dent.kyushu-u.ac.jp/dylan/itsalovr.html

JCO on the film adaptation: http://www.usfca.edu/fac-staff/southerr/smoothtalk.html

About the Pied Piper of Tuscon: http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial2/schmid/

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