In her short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", Joyce Carol Oates utilizes a variety of literary devices to strengthen the story in its entirety. This short story is essentially about a 16-year-old girl named Connie and the conflict between her desire to be mature and her desire to remain an adolescent. Throughout the story, the audience sees this conflict through her words in addition to through her behavior. The audience is also introduced to Arnold Friend, a rather peculiar man, who essentially kidnaps her. This short story by Joyce Carol Oates functions and is additionally meaningful because of her usage of literary devices. Joyce Carol Oates employs symbolism throughout this short story. The biggest symbol in this entire …show more content…
This quote represents the differences between Connie's behavior, including her laughter, at home versus in public. The mention of a charm bracelet reminds readers of Connie's femininity and youth while the use of the words cynical and drawling reminds the readers of masculinity. This shows how Connie tries to appear extra feminine, and therefore sexier when in public. This quote compares a religious building to a restaurant, representing the social and cultural world that Connie lives in. This allows the audience to have an enhanced understanding of the conditions of the society surrounding Connie so that they can have a superior understanding of her actions. This quote also shows what is important to Connie since her church is essentially a restaurant and her prayer is essentially music. In this quote, Oates portrays Arnold Friend as an animal, specifically a hawk or bird of prey. This foreshadows that Arnold Friend will prey on Connie and that his presence represents danger. Lastly, Arnold Friend threatening to collapse the house represents him threatening her childhood and the world that she knows since that is what her home
In Joyce Carole Oates short story,” Where Are You Going, Where Have you Been”, the battle of perception and reality comes into play when Connie ,a young teenage girl tries to portray herself as an adult by using her appearance as well as attitude in order to attract the attentions of older men. This fantasy world of Connie’s is eventually overthrown by Arnold Friend, causing her to snap back into the realization that her sexual fantasies will soon be a reality. This overall theme of sexual reality is reinforced by the different uses of music and character symbolisms of Connie and Arnold
“At its most basic, every story is an attempt to answer the question What happened?” (Norton 85) One of the most significant elements in a short story is plot. Plot is construct by authors and they rearrange the character’s action in a consequential way to shape our response and interpretation (Norton 85). In "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates and "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin, they use similar plot styles that contributes to the process of maturation for characters in the stories.
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.
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates is about a teenage girl named Connie who is in the mist of her adolescent rebellion. She wants to prove her maturity to others and herself. In the story, Oates describes that Connie always lets her mind flow freely in between her daydream. She even creates and keeps dreaming about her ideal male figure in her mind to make her happy and satisfied. Oates allows the reader to step into Connie’s “dream world” through the appearance of Arnold Friend.
BEST PARAGRAPH At the beginning of Oates story, Connie is viewed as a young girl with no cares in the world except for the idea of having physical beauty. Joyce Carol Oates wrote that Connie would “look right through her mother” because “she knew she was pretty and that was everything” (323). By including this, Connie is seen as a self-centered girl who only wants people to speak to her if she will make sure they drown her in compliments. She refuses to retaliate to her mother because her mother just doesn’t understand the “hardships” she has to go through to look attractive.
Arnold Friend’s Biblical Allusions In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, Joyce Carol Oates tells a story of a young, innocent teenage girl, Connie who enjoys listening to music and begins exploring her sexuality and being with boys “the way it was in the movies and promised in songs” (Oates 198). In fact she catches the attention of Arnold Friend one night while at the mall meeting up with a boy. Not knowing he would appear in her life, Arnold strangely shows up at her house assuming they made plans to get together. His character is seen as the devil.
In the coming of age story “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates uses symbolism, conflict, and the third person to foreshadow fifteen-year-old Connie’s unfortunate, yet untimely fate. While one may think that the conflict stems from Connie’s promiscuity, it is clear to see her promiscuity is only a result to a much bigger conflict, her mother’s constant nagging and disapproval, alongside the lack of attention from her father. the author paints a vivid picture of what happens when a fifteen-year-old girl such as Connie goes elsewhere to find to find the love, attention, and approval that she lacks at home. All which is vital for her growth and wellbeing as a person.
Carol Joyce Oates’ “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been?” presents how falling into temptation leads to giving up control and innocence. Though her mother is unapproving of her actions, Connie spends her time seeking attention from male strangers. Home alone, Connie is approached by a compelling creature who convinces her to leave her life and join him on his unknown journey. Through disapproving her family, having multiple appearances, listening to music, and her desperation to receive attention from boys, Connie gives up control of herself losing the purity of adolescents and contributing to her detrimental fate. It is imperative that one should not be controlled because of a desire to impress others.
“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.
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.
Arnold Friend, the antagonist in Joyce Carol Oates’s story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” represents the devil who arrives to bring Connie to the underworld. For example, his unusual appearance implies that he is an inhuman being, unlike what he wants to lead on. As he struggles to walk from his car to the front door, Connie notes that “his whole face was a mask... tanned down to his throat...as if he had..makeup on..but had forgotten about his throat”(5). Arnold Friend covers his demonic features in order to pass as a teenager with the intention of deceiving Connie into leaving with him.
In Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, Connie is a fifteen-year-old girl, who does not necessarily get along with her family. During the week, she often times goes to a shopping plaza with some of her friends. However, they sneak across the highway to go to a popular diner where the older crowd hangs out at. At home, Connie is often times arguing with her family. One day her family is invited to her aunt's barbecue but Connie refuses to go.
Joyce Carol Oates dedicated “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” to Bob Dylan, the story was influenced by Dylan’s haunting song “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” Many aspects of Bob Dylan are mirrored is the character Arnold Friend. Author considered them as a physical double; In the 1960s, people had an idea of Dylan being otherworldly or messiah person. However; Arnold Friend was a darker version of this type of figure.
In Joyce Carol Oates’s short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” the main protagonist finds herself in a very hostile situation. With an all most fateful encounter with a man known as Arnold Friend. Forcing her to choose whether to run off with him or taking her by force. This man known as Arnold Friend to the reader comes off as almost a demon. A person who uses many temptations, word play, and threats to take advantage of the young protagonist Connie.
In “The Flowers”, Alice Walker explores the woods through the eyes of a little girl named Myop, but she soon realizes the world isn’t as nice as flowers. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, Joyce Carol Oates follows a young girl named Connie who is focused on others and her own appearance, until she is introduced to the world in a unexpected way. Both Walker and Oates use young girls to show the harsher sides of the world and how their childhood changes to adulthood in different ways. The main thing that Myop and Connie have in common is that they are both females, but their looks and the way the live are totally different.