In Joyce Carole Oates short story,” Where Are You Going, Where Have you Been”, the battle of perception and reality comes into play when Connie ,a young teenage girl tries to portray herself as an adult by using her appearance as well as attitude in order to attract the attentions of older men. This fantasy world of Connie’s is eventually overthrown by Arnold Friend, causing her to snap back into the realization that her sexual fantasies will soon be a reality. This overall theme of sexual reality is reinforced by the different uses of music and character symbolisms of Connie and Arnold
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” was written by the author Joyce Carol Oates in 1966. Oates describes her idea for the story after briefly reading an article about the real-life murderer, Charles Schmid, who lured and murdered three teenage girls (Kirszner & Mandell 523). She uses this idea to create the character, Arnold Friend, and his victim, Connie. Connie is a typical teenage girl portrayed as naïve and self-centered. The short story appears realistic, given that the conflict in the story is based off of real events. Oates unexpectedly adds allusions to fairy tales throughout the story that suggest a much deeper meaning than the initial realistic interpretation. The use of fairy tales adds a vitally important element to the story that evil can be lurking in unexpected places.
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” is about a teenager named Connie who is trying to come to terms with her transformation from childhood to adulthood. Through this process, Connie attempts to act older than she is an tries to gain the attention of boys. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” Joyce Oates portrays Connie as obsessed with men to symbolize how one’s obsession and narcissistic attitude can cause danger to seem surreal.
Home is where the heart is, but what if home is no longer safe? Joyce Carol Oates explores this concept in her 1966 short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”. On surface level, this story appears to discuss a rebellious young girl named Connie and her confrontation with Arnold Friend, a stalker. The ending leaves the reader to assume that Arnold Friend plans to sexually assault the young girl. However, looking beyond what is initially shown, a new context can adhered to the plot. Carl Jung’s theory of archetypal patterns delves into the human psyche by analyzing its parts. According to Jung, the human mind is split into three different parts; the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious- which can be split into many different archetypes that impact personality (McLeod). Oates uses archetypes and symbolism to show the battle of a young girl trying make her own home and identity in a world that
The story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” was written by Joyce Carol Oates, published in 1966. In this short story, we are introduced to a 15 year old girl Connie. She is described to be very conceited, and she is always obsessing over her physical appearance. Her family life is perceived as very dysfunctional. Her mother is always comparing her to her older sister June, and Connie’s father is pretty much absent from her life. Because the lack of family support and guidance, Connie lies to her parents of her whereabouts, and she sneaks away to local hangouts. While being out, she unfortunately catches the eye of Arnold Friend. This man will erase Connie’s innosense and expose her to how cruel the world can actually be. Many literary
In one moment it’s ripped away from them: the only thing keeping them young; the only thing keeping them shielded from the world. It’s the mother watching her fatherless daughter cry over his coffin. It is the boy being slapped by his loving father for the first time. I That thing is known as “loss of innocence”, but is it really a loss? All one loses is their naivety and artlessness. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, a boastful teenager lacks the knowledge of who a lady is. The knowledge Connie receives, brought upon by Arnold Friend, on that peculiar July afternoon must seem bittersweet.
In the coming of age story “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates uses symbolism, conflict, and the third person to foreshadow fifteen-year-old Connie’s unfortunate, yet untimely fate. While one may think that the conflict stems from Connie’s promiscuity, it is clear to see her promiscuity is only a result to a much bigger conflict, her mother’s constant nagging and disapproval, alongside the lack of attention from her father. the author paints a vivid picture of what happens when a fifteen-year-old girl such as Connie goes elsewhere to find to find the love, attention, and approval that she lacks at home. All which is vital for her growth and wellbeing as a person.
In her short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", Joyce Carol Oates utilizes a variety of literary devices to strengthen the story in its entirety. This short story is essentially about a 16-year-old girl named Connie and the conflict between her desire to be mature and her desire to remain an adolescent. Throughout the story, the audience sees this conflict through her words in addition to through her behavior. The audience is also introduced to Arnold Friend, a rather peculiar man, who essentially kidnaps her. This short story by Joyce Carol Oates functions and is additionally meaningful because of her usage of literary devices.
The story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates, is a one where the idea of how girl who struggles with wanting to be a mature woman, faces her demon full form. The protagonist of the story is Connie, a 15-year-old rebel girl, obsessed with her look; and through fault of her own, meets the antithesis of herself, the antagonist of the story, Arnold Friend. Connie seeks to be a mature adult and desires an emancipation from her family. Seeing herself as mature woman through the desires of her attraction by other boys and men, as well as her mother. Its this same desire which acts as the main fault for her character. Consistently presenting a self-absorbed attituded (like a typical teen), while still presenting the want
The Protagonist Connie is presented in a very self-centered way. She is obsessed with her looks and often fantasizes about all the boys she meets. Even taking pleasure in the feeling of rejecting them. Connie knows that she is always being compared to her sister June who her mother is
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates is about a teenage girl named Connie who is in the mist of her adolescent rebellion. She wants to prove her maturity to others and herself. In the story, Oates describes that Connie always lets her mind flow freely in between her daydream. She even creates and keeps dreaming about her ideal male figure in her mind to make her happy and satisfied. Oates allows the reader to step into Connie’s “dream world” through the appearance of Arnold Friend. Throughout the story, there are many instances: the illogical time and settings, the similarity between Arnold and Connie and the unrealistic events show that the meeting between Connie and Arnold Friend is a dream. The dream is also a preparation for Connie before she steps onto the stage of being an adult.
In “The Flowers”, Alice Walker explores the woods through the eyes of a little girl named Myop, but she soon realizes the world isn’t as nice as flowers. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, Joyce Carol Oates follows a young girl named Connie who is focused on others and her own appearance, until she is introduced to the world in a unexpected way. Both Walker and Oates use young girls to show the harsher sides of the world and how their childhood changes to adulthood in different ways.
Smooth Talk is slightly based on Joyce Carol Oates’ story titled “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” but isn’t as straightforward and frankly gruesome. The story focuses on the 1960’s suburbia from a teenagers perspective. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” focuses on topics relevant in the 1960’s including the Sexual Revolution. Oates’ focuses on major issues and topics such as feminism, sexual freedom, and adolescent sexuality.
Connie’s mother keeps picking at her for everything. The mother clearly shows that the older sister June is her favorite. June does everything right and gets praised by her mother all the time. Connie hears almost every day that June saved money, helped clean the house, cooked for the family. When the mother speaks on the phone with her friends, she favors everything that June does, and criticizes Connie. That is the main reason why Connie wants to leave with the first person who asks her to do so. From him she feels the attention that likes very much and does not receive from her family members. She does not feel supported by anyone in the family; everyone only criticizes her, tells her that her own sister is much
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates can be interpreted in a multitude of ways due to its ambiguity. A psychological lens, however, provides the most accurate viewpoint for analyzing the story as it clarifies certain obscure scenes and actions of Connie.