Analyzing The Short Story 'Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?'

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“Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?” Essay Interpretations regarding the short story “ Where Are You Going ? Where have you been ?” by Joyce Oates have been widely voiced in various critical articles. For instance, Clifford J. Kurowski's claim that Connie had come of age and “.. was certain she knew how to handle the choices Friend was making available to her”( Kurkowski np ). Or Mike Tierce and John Craftin, who insist that young Connie has been rescued by a mysterious savior, Arnold Friend, who “ frees her from the limitations of a 15-year-old, assisting her maturation by stripping her of her childlike version,” ( Tierce and Crafton np). As shown with Tierce and Crafton’s argument, the objective of maturation is interpreted in various manners, however in Connie’s situation, escaping reality by leaving with a suspicious stranger does…show more content…
She is a victim suffering from conflicted desires and struggling to overcome them to reach maturity. Unfortunately, Connie falls short of the destination due to the appearance of Arnold Friend, flaunting her momentary, selfish desires like bait , interrupting her development. Thus the manipulator, Arnold, is able to whisk Connie away. The characteristics of Connie’s family, Arnold and Connie herself serve as reasonable attribution towards understanding the idea of maturation in Oates's Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been? The characteristics of Connie’s family contribute greatly to understanding the idea of maturation in the story. Connie’s mother is especially influential in the expression of Connie’s personality. Due to her constant comparison of Connie to June, her older sister, “June did this, June did that, she saved money and helped clean the house and cooked and Connie couldn’t do a thing,” Connie becomes extremely self conscious in her behavior and dependent on peer opinions (
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