“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” written by Joyce Carol Oates is a story about fifteen year old Connie who’s world is changed after an encounter with a stranger. Connie’s paradigm is transformed during and after this event. At the beginning of the story, Connie’s worldview is one of vanity, which in turn leads to control. She is only focused on how she looks and how those around her appear as well. Oates writes that Connie “...knew she was pretty and that was everything.” The author describes Connie’s sister through her eyes as “...so plain and chunky and steady…” and also her mother as “...had been pretty once…” Connie will only see the people around her by their appearances and judges them solely on her opinions of their looks.
In what ways would you transform when presented with a life or death situation? In the prevailing and fast-paced short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joan Carol Oates we find out how much a person can change when crucial and demanding situations arise. In this short story the self-indulged protagonist, Connie will have to face her worse nightmares that she believed would be her ultimate fantasy. Connie is a fifteen-year-old girl who, like most young women, are ruled by their hormones and budding sexualities. She is a flighty teen who does not get along with her family and wishes to be an adult.
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.
Analysis of Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates writes a gripping tale of terror about a young girl named Connie, who is faced with the dark and twisted hands of fate. Connie is a young teen, like many girls, self-absorbed and seeks self-value in the eyes of others. In her outings with friends, she comes across a man by the name of Arnold Friend. Oates lets the reader know immediately that there is something disturbing about this character. As the story progresses, Connie is left alone on a Sunday afternoon while her family is out.
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” was written by the author Joyce Carol Oates in 1966. Oates describes her idea for the story after briefly reading an article about the real-life murderer, Charles Schmid, who lured and murdered three teenage girls (Kirszner & Mandell 523). She uses this idea to create the character, Arnold Friend, and his victim, Connie. Connie is a typical teenage girl portrayed as naïve and self-centered. The short story appears realistic, given that the conflict in the story is based off of real events.
Connie in Joyce Carol Oates’s story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” desperately wants to be independent from her family, while Gregor Samsa in Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” pathetically yearns for inclusion. In this story, Oates pays special attention to the mother-daughter relationship and the lack of meaningful communication between them. Connie's mother is an image of the future Connie doesn't want – the life of a domestic housewife. Connie has a love-hate relationship with her mother, with whom she identifies, but at the same time she has to distance herself from her mother in order to establish her independence. On the other hand, The Metamorphosis, a story by Franz Kafka, is about a man who has been transformed into a giant beetle
“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
Smooth Talk VS. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” In the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, the main character, Connie, is faced with life altering decisions. The story is based in the suburbs during the 1960’s, when the normal American society was more traditional than how it is today. Connie’s personality type may be seen as scandalous, which makes her teenage years miserable because of how strict society had been. Due to Connie’s personality type, she is faced with risky decisions every day; for example, Connie crossed a busy highway only to hang out with older teenagers at a restaurant, where she met boys she liked and one boy, named Arnold Friend, who she did not like (Oates 325). Arnold Friend became Connie’s psychopathic stalker who seemed to know everything about her.
In the short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, by Joyce Carol Oates, Connie met another character named Arnold Friend. Throughout their interactions Connie evolves in the story. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, Connie evolves as a character through Connie's relationship with her mother, interactions with Friend, and her emotional and physical status. Despite the way Connie's mother treated her “she knew she was pretty and that was everything” and she tried to keep her head held high (323). Connie's mother looked at her daughter with disgust as she talked down to her about her looks.
The motif being, despite Connie’s strong desire for adulthood, she has yet to acquire the need for adulthood; Once you take a glimpse at adulthood, you can’t unsee it, you can’t turn back, you can’t just change your mind. Starting right off the bat, Joyce Carol Oates describes Connie as being a fifteen year old with”a quick, nervous habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people’s faces to make sure her own was all alright” (316) bringing attention to the amount of insecurity and need for reassurance immersed within Connie. This statement continues although this time describing her mother as someone who “noticed everything and knew everything and who hadn’t much reason to look at her own face” (316) bringing into comparison the difference between Connie and her mother, a child and a mother, of childhood and of adulthood. From Connie’s perspective her mother is always on her back because of a theory that her family dislikes her. “Why don’t you keep your room clean like your sister?