Fantasy V.S. Reality In some cases an individual can perceive something as the complete opposite of what it truly is. People create the illusion or the fantasy on what they believe something to be.
“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.
Arnold Friend is a character in Joyce Carol Oates’s short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”. Throughout the scenes that involve Arnold, it can be seen that Oates used sexual predation as a main point in the story. Oates’s inspiration for Arnold Friend was Bob Dylan’s song “It’s all over Now Baby Blue,” and in the story, there are references to the song describing Connie as Arnold’s “sweet little blue-eyed girl” (Oates 9). Another inspiration for Arnold was an real-life psychopathic serial killer Oates read about in a newspaper who would “seduce young girls into his car after school; he would later molest and kill them” (Mary); he was the perfect muse for Arnold because both had a violently promiscuous persona.
Arnolds Friends tries to get Connie into his car for a ride and most likely for something much cruel. When Arnold arrives in his car to Connie’s house and tries to lure her out, he tries to convince her that he is young and later on describes what he wants to do with her, that she is his “lover”. There are many symbols during this passage that wraps around the whole story. Arnold’s car in “ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” it is mostly seen in the story that the guys are always driving and when Arnold asks Connie to go for a ride he wants control over her, once you go inside you don’t have much power, the power is in the driver. His car symbolizes dishonesty, power and disguise
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.
Connie: The Victim To A Demon The “heroine” of the short story Where Are You Going Where Have You Been written by Joyce Carol Oates has been interpreted in many different ways by many different authors across the globe. They all have their own opinions on why Connie had left her home and walked into the arms of Arnold Friend. Larry Rain makes the argument that Connie was a noble heroine that “chooses the side with the devil [to save her family]” (Rain Gale).
Contentious Symbolism The contentious sense of symbolism illustrated by the two main characters in “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is supported by their actions throughout the story. Deceit between characters was a common symbol that seemed to follow both characters throughout the story. This symbol of distrust allows for a common thread between characters that ultimately joins them together in the end. The overall aspect of lying brings together the two main characters in this story with a unique sense of symbolism.
In order for a story to fall under gothic, it must play off of some type of fear that a large scale can relate to. The short story Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates plays off of contemporary fears at a psychological level.
Everyone everywhere struggles with conflicts on a daily basis. Some of these conflicts may be external conflicts as well as internal conflicts. Just like our lives, literature that is composed has a combination of these internal and external conflicts. These conflicts are as follows: individual versus individual, individual versus self, individual versus technology, individual versus society, and individual versus nature. Although, “What You Pawn I will Redeem,” by Sherman Alexie, and, “Where are You going, where have You Been,” by Joyce Oates have several different conflicts throughout both stories, in this paper I will focus on the internal conflicts of both of the fundamental characters, Jackson and Connie, and I will utilize different literary
When meeting people we tend to assume details about them but with time our perceptions alter. We all have experienced this at least once every day when communicating with someone new. Sigmund Freud's "The Uncanny" expresses his development of how something is 'uncanny'. Author Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,?” contains components of the uncanny. This short story involves a character named, Arnold Friend who can be pursued as uncanny because he can be comprehended as someone who has been remained hidden but then has come to light.