Archetypes In Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

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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 …show more content…

Music is the most significant of symbols in Oates short story to the point that it is dedicated to Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan was a popular singer of the 1960’s and many of his songs spoke out in favor of the civil rights movement and anti-war movement, perhaps Oates felt inspired by his work when she created this story. Considered a window to the soul, music plays a large role as the backdrop of the story. Throughout the entire story, the type of music and the songs playing are listed such as at the dinner and Bobby King’s radio station playing in Arnold Friend’s car. These types of music are conflicting as the music in the dinner is described as “background music like music at a church service” and the station in Arnold’s car is “hard, fast, shrieking songs” (pg 1056-1058). Again, the reader sees traditional values placed against changing times, reinforcing Connie’s internal struggle to define

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