Symbolism In Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? was published in 1966. Joyce Carol Oates is not a novelist, her area of expertise are short stories. Some other work of hers would be “By the North Gate” and “The Wheel of Love”. Oates is known for incorporating many symbols and themes throughout her stories such as religion, romance and identity. In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Connie is faced with multiple obstacles, some that will determine her fate forever. There are predators throughout this gothic story, that test Connie’s morals. Within this story the audience will be exposed to a variety of relationships. Oates depicts the characters of the story as vain, evil, and jealous. The symbolism of religion is extremely significant throughout…show more content…
Connie and her mother have a relationship filled with tension. Her mother seems to favor June who is Connie’s older sister. The story kicks off with Connie and her friends going to a restaurant where mainly older kids hang out. She meets a guy named Eddie, they start to talk and she breaks apart from her friends. While Connie and Eddie were talking an odd man pulled up aside Connie, his name was Arnold Friend. Later that night she reunites with her friends and leaves the restaurant. One Sunday Connie’s parents and sister went to a barbecue, but Connie decided to stay home. That night she saw a car pull into the driveway it was Arnold Friend. He starts to make conversation with Connie and she is completely uninterested. Arnold Friend wants to take Connie for a ride. As she starts to evaluate the men in the drive way she concludes that these men are in their late thirties, early forties. Connie worries that her father will show up and see the men in her drive way but little does she know Arnold Friend already knows where her father is. Connie decides to threaten Arnold Friend and Ellie with the police. Arnold Friend becomes angry, he threatened Connie’s family if she did not come out and take a ride with him. Connie is overcome with fear. She knows there is no other option, she decides to go with Arnold Friend and Ellie to spare the life of her
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