Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Analysis Essay

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Textual Analysis of the Tension(s) In the Story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates
The story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates is a prime example of the conflict between youth and experience since it pits Connie's naivete against the seductive yet dangerous Arnold Friend. Connie's need for direction from an older person and her yearning for independence is put into conflict by Joyce Carol Oates. Oates builds a tension that is released when Connie is forced to choose between her freedom and her safety through her descriptions of Connie's character, her encounters with Arnold Friend, and her choices. Connie's craving for independence and her susceptibility to Arnold Friend's scheming is understood by Oates, who highlights the need to make a responsible choice and the dangers of acting on instinct. Oates creates a strong contrast between these two forces via symbolism, imagery, and personality, finally leading Connie to face her mortality and the effects of her naivete. …show more content…

by Joyce Carol Oates, Connie's youth and naivete are juxtaposed with Arnold Friend's threat, creating a conflict between innocence and experience. From the novel's beginning, Connie is presented as a self-absorbed, naive adolescent girl who wants to be recognized by males. However, as the narrative continues, it becomes abundantly evident that Arnold Friend is no average adolescent. Arnold Friend gives off the impression that he is a force for evil due to his enigmatic appearance in a gold convertible, frequent allusions to the devil, and overstated age (′′he was thirty-five or something). Oates creates a sharp contrast between Arnold Friend's experience and Connie's naivety with this

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