“Where are you going, where have you been” is a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates. Oates gained inspiration for one of the main characters from a real serial killer she had read about in the newspaper. Bob Dylan’s song, “It’s all over now, Baby blue” was another source of inspiration for Oates. This story focuses on Connie, a self-absorbed, beautiful 15-year-old who often fought with her mother and loved to daydream. Connie loved to hang out with her friends and meet older boys. On a date, she noticed a guy in a gold convertible. The same guy, Arnold Friend and his friend, Ellie, showed up at her house while her family was gone to a barbeque. Arnold is trying to convince Connie to take a ride with him but Connie is fearful of his intentions. Through manipulation and threats, he finally lured the young girl to leave with him. In “Where are you going, where have you been”, Joyce Carol Oates used inspiration from a song and serial killer to write an incredible short story packed with themes and symbolism.
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.
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. Disguising himself is a method he uses to ensure the she won’t immediately turn him down, but would at least consider his advances to get her
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
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. Oates unexpectedly adds allusions to fairy tales throughout the story that suggest a much deeper meaning than the initial realistic interpretation. The use of fairy tales adds a vitally important element to the story that evil can be lurking in unexpected places.
One psychological issue of Connie that is easily inferred from the beginning of the story is her insecurity about her looks. Connie constantly worries about the way that she looks and takes any opportunity to do so, “craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people's faces to make sure her own was all right” (1). Connie does this because she needs to be reassured that she is in fact pretty. On top of this, Connie acknowledges that her beauty is “everything”(1). This statement implies that if perhaps Connie was not beautiful, she would have nothing. Furthermore, when Arnold Friend pulls up at Connie’s house, her heart begins to pound not because there is a stranger at her door, but because she is “wondering how bad she looked”(2). Even when faced with possible danger,
“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 one moment it’s ripped away from them: the only thing keeping them young; the only thing keeping them shielded from the world. It’s the mother watching her fatherless daughter cry over his coffin. It is the boy being slapped by his loving father for the first time. I That thing is known as “loss of innocence”, but is it really a loss? All one loses is their naivety and artlessness. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, a boastful teenager lacks the knowledge of who a lady is. The knowledge Connie receives, brought upon by Arnold Friend, on that peculiar July afternoon must seem bittersweet.
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.
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.
The story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” was written by Joyce Carol Oates, published in 1966. In this short story, we are introduced to a 15 year old girl Connie. She is described to be very conceited, and she is always obsessing over her physical appearance. Her family life is perceived as very dysfunctional. Her mother is always comparing her to her older sister June, and Connie’s father is pretty much absent from her life. Because the lack of family support and guidance, Connie lies to her parents of her whereabouts, and she sneaks away to local hangouts. While being out, she unfortunately catches the eye of Arnold Friend. This man will erase Connie’s innosense and expose her to how cruel the world can actually be. Many literary
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. Oates’s biography explained her fiction writing as a mixture violence and sexual obsession. The writing style definitely fits the plot point of this story with both of her literary ingredients being present in not only Arnold Friend but in Connie as well.
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. Throughout the story, there are many instances: the illogical time and settings, the similarity between Arnold and Connie and the unrealistic events show that the meeting between Connie and Arnold Friend is a dream. The dream is also a preparation for Connie before she steps onto the stage of being an adult.
Smooth Talk is slightly based on Joyce Carol Oates’ story titled “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” but isn’t as straightforward and frankly gruesome. The story focuses on the 1960’s suburbia from a teenagers perspective. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” focuses on topics relevant in the 1960’s including the Sexual Revolution. Oates’ focuses on major issues and topics such as feminism, sexual freedom, and adolescent sexuality.
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. Reluctantly, her parents allow her to stay home alone. A few hours later, a familiar gold jalopy pulls up to her house. The driver announces to Connie that his name is Arnold Friend. His unusual physical appearance, his tone of voice, and what he may symbolize frighten the Connie.