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. One psychological issue of Connie that is easily inferred from the beginning of the story is her insecurity about her looks. Connie constantly worries about the way that she looks and takes any opportunity to do so, “craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people's faces to make sure her own was all right” (1).
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.
Later, a Friend will hand her the key. Connie admired herself and, “she knew she was pretty and that was everything,”(Oates). Connie spends a
As the wise philosopher Albert Camus once said: “The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding” ("Albert Camus."). In the captivating short story Where Are You Going, Where Are you Been? Joyce Carol Oates is trying to show the readers that beauty and vanity can be sometimes harmful. Bored and tired of being ordinary, and still being treated as a child, the main character engaged in a rebellion that think will make her look older, more like an adult. The author also shows the readers how Connie’s obsession with her beauty, her dreaminess and carelessness of the world made her more ignorant and lack awareness.
“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.
All the Wrong Places I’m sure we’ve all heard about young and beautiful attention seeking girls who eventually end up in sticky situations. There are times where they may not ever get out of the situation but, if they do, they attempt to change their ways. In Joyce Carol Oates’ short story “ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” , a character named Connie fits right in that category. Connie is very vain and loves attention. Connie’s attention seeking ways lands her in a predicament that she rather not be in.
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
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 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.
Arnold Friend, the antagonist in Joyce Carol Oates’s story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” represents the devil who arrives to bring Connie to the underworld. For example, his unusual appearance implies that he is an inhuman being, unlike what he wants to lead on. As he struggles to walk from his car to the front door, Connie notes that “his whole face was a mask...tanned down to his throat...as if he had..makeup on..but had forgotten about his throat”(5). Arnold Friend covers his demonic features in order to pass as a teenager with the intention of deceiving Connie into leaving with him. Disguising himself is a method he uses to ensure the she won’t immediately turn him down, but would at least consider his advances to get her
Connie is a fifteen-year-old who is trying to make the best of her life by seeking attention from others. Having the attention, she wants makes her feel superior, and make her feel like no one can tear down her ego. The only one trying to tear down her ego is her mother who wants her to be like her older sister June who is the opposite of Connie. She is mature and even helps the family out. For Connie to be taught a lesson of her conceded qualities, she encounters meet Arnold.
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
“She was fifteen and she had a quick nervous giggling habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people’s faces to make sure her own was all right” (Oates, 259). Connie didn’t like being compared to her sister June by her mother and felt as if her mother only thought that she sat around all day daydreaming about boys. The only good thing that June did in Connie’s eyes was go out with her friends, which justified Connie being able to go out with hers. Connie would lie about going to the movie with her friend and they would end up going to hang out with older boys at restaurants and in allies until her friends dad would pick them up. One night Connie spent 3 hours with a boy she had met eating at a restaurant and then down an alley to hang out with
Arnold Friend was there to take Connie away; away from her childhood and home, which never quite felt like home until her fantasy world deteriorated and reality set it. The next moment is pivotal, this is when Connie forgets her hedonism and becomes something of much more substance. Before Connie studies Arnold Friend’s abnormal personality and erratic behavior she is fascinated by him and even worries that she is ill prepared for this
We had already acquired the habit of doubting ourselves as well as the place we came from” (pg 96). Although all four sisters were beautiful individuals, America’s perception of “beauty” caused self doubt in the young girls. They were too busy trying to look like something they were not to enjoy their true