Symbolism In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

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Connie is a fifteen-year-old who is trying to make the best of her life by seeking attention from others. Having the attention, she wants makes her feel superior, and make her feel like no one can tear down her ego. The only one trying to tear down her ego is her mother who wants her to be like her older sister June who is the opposite of Connie. She is mature and even helps the family out. For Connie to be taught a lesson of her conceded qualities, she encounters meet Arnold. Arnold is someone who knows every detail about Connie’s lifestyle and supposedly wants to be with her. The dialogue between her and Arnold makes her come to the realization of growing up. In, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” I believe that Oates is conveying the nature of adolescence through symbolism, tone, and…show more content…
One of them is reality vs. fantasy. From reading the story twice, I picked up on if Arnold is real or not. In my opinion, I do not think Arnold is real. Connie does not recognize him and is perplexed on how he even knows her at all. Another reason that made me think he is not real is how she passes out when she answers the phone, and he somehow had her phone number as well. Even if this was real or not, what Arnold was symbolizing was adulthood and how Connie needs to become mature. Another example of symbolism that is being used is the song “Baby Blue” by Bob Dylan. Arnold has similar characteristics of Bob Dylan. Arnold and Bob Dylan were both considered eerie and like a messiah figure. This also justified why I thought Arnold is not real. “My sweet little blue-eyed girl” (Oates 108). Connie did not even have blue eyes, yet Arnold stated that. This is another way of symbolizing Bob Dylan. Arnold was showing an obsession over Connie only, as Connie has an obsession over herself with what others think of her. Arnold and Connie’s obsessions are both examples of showing the nature of
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