In Joyce Carol Oates 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'?

2015 Words9 Pages
There are many corrupt things in the world we live in. At times, we are oblivious to the fact that these corruptions exist. There are some who even get involved and easily influenced by these immoral things or people. There is always that little voice in your mind that advises you to not follow the wrong path. It could be at that moment you where have to decide or later on as a dream. Connie, in Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” encounters this experience, and falls victim to danger. Connie’s conscience will place her in a dream to help her see the threat that will be coming her way if she does not stop. Connie is a fifteen year old girl filled with insecurities, and depends on others’ reactions to her to make…show more content…
Bob Dylan’s “Bringing It All Back Home” album was release at the time she was writing (Souther). Oates thought the whole album was captivating, however the song “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” had caught Oates in the middle of her tracks (Souther). Oates admired how the song’s rhythm and lyrics had an alluring, surreal quality (Souther). There were lines from the song that Oates had incorporated into the short story. “The vagabond who’s rapping at your door / Is standing in the clothes that you once wore” (Dylan) “Strike another match, go start anew. And it’s all over now, Baby Blue” (Dylan). These two lines were represented when Connie’s conscience had to help her change and start over by destroying her fantasies. After the experience with Arnold Friend, Connie realizes how she can hurt herself which ends her threatening fixation. “The lover who just walked out your door / Has taken all his blankets from the floor / The carpet, too, is moving under you” (Dylan). Oates used the qualities in these lines in Connie’s dream to express how something in her life is over and that she is losing control of everything. Overall, the song is about mortality which seemed fitting since the life Connie once knew was about to come to an end…show more content…
However, it does leave Connie and the readers trapped in the nightmare, no where to escape the horror. This made the readers and the main character truly believe the evil is real and can happen anytime. When Connie wakes up, she will be changed permanently by the dream her subconscious created to save her. In the end of the dream, Connie even knows that something has ended, her habits, and she is going somewhere beyond
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