Analysis Of Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

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“Where Are You Going, Where Have You been?” is a story written by Joyce Carol Oates, as the story begins readers are introduced to the protagonist, Connie. A fifteen year old girl, who is rebellious, deceitful, somewhat vain and the black sheep of the family—characteristics that also expressed Connie’s want to be loved and accepted in a way she wasn’t from her own family. Oates takes readers on a journey with Connie as her character begins to develop, readers are introduced to Arnold Friend, along with the internal and external conflicts and the brilliantly placed symbolism throughout the short story. Oates protagonist Connie, is by birth a daughter and a sister, but is defining and valuing herself by her appearance and sexuality. “…she knew she was pretty and that was everything" (308). Within the story there is a lot of family turmoil between mother and daughter, and sister to sister. Connie has an older sister June, who her mother compares her to: “Why don’t you keep your room clean like your sister? How have you got your hair fixed—what the hell stinks? Hair spray? You don’t see your sister using that junk” (308). The constant comparison and remarks are what drives Connie to be different from June, pushing and enabling her rebellion. Connie’s mother’s constant negative approach, and clear favoritism of June pushed Connie to seek out not only love and acceptance from others but made her wish death to her and her mother. “…Connies’ mother kept picking at her until
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