Where Are You Going Reality

1477 Words6 Pages
Fictitious perception verses the here and now In “Where are you going, where have you been?” We follow a young girl’s struggle escape what she perceives to be reality. Is she really portraying herself as a beauty queen or as a girl becoming a woman? Is Connie’s reality of how people her perceive her an actuality or is it the complete opposite of what she perceives? Connie is determined not to become like her mother or sister since she identifies herself to be more beautiful and superior to them. One could argue that Connie lives in a dream world all of her own. Individualities of such superficial illusions or almost fantasy perceptions on what they believe something to be can set themselves up for a fall that they may not recover from.…show more content…
Arnold knows that he can exploit Connie and distort her world without too much difficulty, and nothing is going to stop him from doing so. Then again, he is a marauder and is determined to entice Connie one way or another. Notably, everything about the way Arnold looks and acts represents his shady and dark personality. To give an illustration of this, Arnold’s hair is “shaggy, shabby black hair that looked crazy as a wig” (pg. 366). His hair is different than that of Connie’s golden blonde hair which gives the appearance of virtuousness. In spite of the author description of Arnold’s hair looking like a wig, one could say this is a metaphor of fake cover-up on Arnold’s behalf. Along with his hair, Arnold’s sunglasses serve as another symbol which would symbolize that Arnold is trying to hide who he really is. Furthermore, Arnold’s car serves as a contrast between who Arnold really is and who he is disguised to be. With this in mind one could state that while the old car may symbolize Arnold’s reality, the new paint job symbolizes Arnold’s masquerade in order to tempt Connie over. The car becomes case in point of all that is dark about his façade. The saying “Man the Flying Saucers” is written on the front fender of Arnold’s car. According to Oates, “It was an expression kids had used the year before but didn’t use this year” (369). This could insinuate that Arnold is trying to fit in with younger…show more content…
This could be the reason that Connie’s perceptions on the world are being peeled away from her. In view of her insights of Arnolds real intentions, She hopes that her family will come home and save her but they are nowhere near. To that end, one could say that when Oates reveals “she (Connie) cried out for her mother, she felt her breath start jerking back and forth in her lungs as if it was something Arnold Friend was stabbing her with again and again with no tenderness” (376), reveals the force that Arnold Friend has over Connie at this moment. Furthermore, Connie is so overtaken with fright that she cannot even think of how to use the phone and make that call for help. She cannot think straight right now, it is almost as if Arnold has possessed her. Arguably, the screen door could symbolizes the line between safety and danger; between Connie’s child-like fantasy world and the terrible reality of the world. Not to mention that when Arnold eventually convinces her to cross the line the outcome will not have a good ending All things considered, as Connie is walking past the screen door, Oates writes, “so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to it” (377). This last sentence suggests that bad things will happen after this. She is being consumed by the “blinding” sunlight as she walks
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