Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Character Analysis Essay

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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been is a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates, centered on the protagonist 15 year old Connie. In this short story Oates sets the frame-work for religious allegory- the seduction of a young woman coming to terms with the hand she has been dealt as a result of her choices [you need to something here] similar to that of Eve (Urbanski, 1978). In the first paragraph, we are introduced to Connie who is an eccentric, and spoiled fifteen year old with middle class parents. We become aware of the fact that Connie has an unhappy home life, the story states that her father “was away at work most of the time," and he "didn't bother talking much to them,"(422); as a result, Connie never received any form of love …show more content…

Oates portrays Arnold as an opposing force within Connie’s innocent fantasy world. Arnold is well aware of the fact that he can easily manipulate Connie and effortlessly corrupt the world in which she lives in, and nothing can prevent him from doing just that. He is the predator and Connie is his prey, he is committed to luring Connie either willingly or by force. Every extraneous detail about the appearance and behavior of Arnold epitomizes his dark and suspicious personality. A physical description of Arnold’s appearance indicates that he has “shaggy, shabby black hair that looked crazy as a wig” (424). His hair differs from Connie’s whose golden blonde hair is symbol of her innocence. When Oates describes the appearance of Arnold’s hair resembling that of a wig it is implied that this is a cover-up of some sort on his end. Arnold’s sunglasses send back images similar to that of a looking glass and they shield his eyes. The fact that his eyes are not visible to someone else it is a type of disguise he uses to cover up who he actually is. His sunglasses also constitute as symbol. His car symbolizes the dark nature of his appearance. The gold on his car epitomizes a flashy type of persona in order for him to appeal to younger

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