Analyzing The Story 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been'

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In Joyce Oates story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” (rpt. in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perinne’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 11th ed. [Boston: Wadsworth, 2012] 492- 506) Connie is a fifteen year old girl who would stereotypically, be considered “the girl next door,” and because of her certain actions, finds herself wishing she had chosen a different path. Connie is a usual teenage girl who is constantly checking herself in the mirror and always looking for whatever trouble she can get herself into. Contrary to Connie’s belief, good looks aren’t always a charm.

Connie is a very self- centered person and knows she has the “looks” in the family. “Stop gawking at yourself, who are you? You think you’re so pretty?” (492). She does not get along with her mom or sister whatsoever. Although Connie’s sister is older than she is and still lives at home, Connie’s parents are constantly wishing she would be more like her sister. If there is one thing Connie and her sister have in common, it is that they both are allowed to go out with their friends without any questions
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Connie is boastful of knowing she can pull any guy which causes her to have a huge ego until she accidentally runs into Arnold Friend one night as he says, “gonna get ya baby” (494). Connie does not think much of Arnold other than the fact he is a creep, until one Sunday afternoon, he shows up at her house. Arnold is begging Connie to come with him for a ride and mysteriously knows her parents are gone, how long they will be, and where they are. Immediately, Connie gets a bad feeling and is quick to long for her mother. Because of how Connie portrayed herself, she gets put into a situation of where us readers are stuck wondering what actually happens. But what we do know is Connie gets taken advantage of which reflects on her earlier
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