Character Analysis Of Connie In 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been'

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“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.
In the short story, Carol Oates describes Connie as having two different personalities, one being a narcissistic attitude. Oates states, “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home: her walk that could be childlike and bobbing, or languid enough
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Connie’s first encounter with Friend was at a diner when he stated to Connie, “Gonna get you, baby”(pg.1142). Because Connie was use to this type of attention, she did not view it as strange that an older man was calling her in such away. However, if Connie had seen Friend as dangerous instead of just another man, her kidnapping might have been prevented. Later in the story when Friend showed up as Connie’s house, she walked outside and talked to him instead of questioning how he knew where she lived or calling the police. Oates described Connie's interaction with Friend by stating,“Connie liked the way he was dressed, which was the way all of them dressed: tight faded jeans stuffed into black, scuffed boots, a belt that pulled his waist in and showed how lean he was, and a white pullover shirt that was a little soiled and showed the hard muscles of his arms and shoulders”(pg.1145). Instead of realizing the danger that she was in, Connie was focused on what Arnold Friend was wearing and how attractive he was. Connie’s obsession with finding her own sexuality overpowered her gut feeling of danger. In an analysis of “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, Barbara Wiedemann discusses how the antagonist Arnold Friend is based upon serial killer Charles Schmid, who murdered several young girls during the 1960s. In the analysis, Wiedemann
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