The story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates, is a one where the idea of how girl who struggles with wanting to be a mature woman, faces her demon full form. The protagonist of the story is Connie, a 15-year-old rebel girl, obsessed with her look; and through fault of her own, meets the antithesis of herself, the antagonist of the story, Arnold Friend. Connie seeks to be a mature adult and desires an emancipation from her family. Seeing herself as mature woman through the desires of her attraction by other boys and men, as well as her mother. Its this same desire which acts as the main fault for her character. Consistently presenting a self-absorbed attituded (like a typical teen), while still presenting the want
The Protagonist Connie is presented in a very self-centered way. She is obsessed with her looks and often fantasizes about all the boys she meets. Even taking pleasure in the feeling of rejecting them. Connie knows that she is always being compared to her sister June who her mother is
Parents play a very important role in the lives of their children. If parents do it in the right way, it positively impacts children’s mental and emotional condition. One of the main characters from the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, Connie, does not have that kind of relationships with her parents, with who she can share her thoughts or who to get a good advice from. The main reason of all Connie’s mental and emotional problems is that her parents do not play a good role model for her and compare with the older sister.
Home is where the heart is, but what if home is no longer safe? Joyce Carol Oates explores this concept in her 1966 short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”. On surface level, this story appears to discuss a rebellious young girl named Connie and her confrontation with Arnold Friend, a stalker. The ending leaves the reader to assume that Arnold Friend plans to sexually assault the young girl. However, looking beyond what is initially shown, a new context can adhered to the plot. Carl Jung’s theory of archetypal patterns delves into the human psyche by analyzing its parts. According to Jung, the human mind is split into three different parts; the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious- which can be split into many different archetypes that impact personality (McLeod). Oates uses archetypes and symbolism to show the battle of a young girl trying make her own home and identity in a world that
This quote represents the differences between Connie's behavior, including her laughter, at home versus in public. The mention of a charm bracelet reminds readers of Connie's femininity and youth while the use of the words cynical and drawling reminds the readers of masculinity. This shows how Connie tries to appear extra feminine, and therefore sexier when in public. This quote compares a religious building to a restaurant, representing the social and cultural world that Connie lives in. This allows the audience to have an enhanced understanding of the conditions of the society surrounding Connie so that they can have a superior understanding of her actions. This quote also shows what is important to Connie since her church is essentially a restaurant and her prayer is essentially music. In this quote, Oates portrays Arnold Friend as an animal, specifically a hawk or bird of prey. This foreshadows that Arnold Friend will prey on Connie and that his presence represents danger. Lastly, Arnold Friend threatening to collapse the house represents him threatening her childhood and the world that she knows since that is what her home
In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, Joyce Carol Oates tells a story of a young, innocent teenage girl, Connie who enjoys listening to music and begins exploring her sexuality and being with boys “the way it was in the movies and promised in songs” (Oates 198). In fact she catches the attention of Arnold Friend one night while at the mall meeting up with a boy. Not knowing he would appear in her life, Arnold strangely shows up at her house assuming they made plans to get together. His character is seen as the devil. He tries to seduce and persuade her to go with him for a ride similar to how the Devil lured Eve with a shiny and mysterious apple. Oates displays evidence of biblical allusions regarding Arnold Friend’s appearance and persona in the story by depicting his physical characteristics, his supernatural knowledge, and his demeanor as an image of evil.
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” is about a teenager named Connie who is trying to come to terms with her transformation from childhood to adulthood. Through this process, Connie attempts to act older than she is an tries to gain the attention of boys. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” Joyce Oates portrays Connie as obsessed with men to symbolize how one’s obsession and narcissistic attitude can cause danger to seem surreal.
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates can be interpreted in a multitude of ways due to its ambiguity. A psychological lens, however, provides the most accurate viewpoint for analyzing the story as it clarifies certain obscure scenes and actions of Connie.
In some cases an individual can perceive something as the complete opposite of what it truly is. People create the illusion or the fantasy on what they believe something to be. I believe that in the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” false perception V.S. reality is seen. The main theme in this short story is the conflict between fantasy and reality. One of the main characters in this short story is Connie. She tries very hard to create an adult persona. Connie uses her attitude and appearance to attract boys. But she is not aware of the reality of the society in which she lives. Connie is living in a fantasy world, but when she gets trapped by Arnold Friend she is put into a scary reality. There
“But now her looks were gone and that was why she was always after Connie.” (Oates ). Also, there is another opportunity for friendship within the family, between Connie and her sister, however, that is lost in their rivalry and hostility. “Her sister was so plain and chunky and steady that Connie had to hear her praised all the time – by her mother and her mother's sisters.” ( ). Another reason why Connie why wants to be independent from her mother is because she does not want to be like her. “Her mother went scuffling around the house in old bathroom slippers…”( paragraph 11). Connie’s mother is an image of the future Connie doesn't want -the life of a domestic housewife. Lastly, you can see that Connie has a love-hate relationship with her other, with whom she identifies, but at the same time she has to distance herself from her mother in order to establish her independence; “Sometimes, over coffee, they were almost friends, but something would come up – some vexation that was like a fly buzzing suddenly around their heads – and their faces went hard with contempt.” ( Paragraph
How are id, ego and superego represented in “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?” By Joyce Carol Oates?
Arnold Friend, the antagonist in Joyce Carol Oates’s story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” represents the devil who arrives to bring Connie to the underworld. For example, his unusual appearance implies that he is an inhuman being, unlike what he wants to lead on. As he struggles to walk from his car to the front door, Connie notes that “his whole face was a mask...tanned down to his throat...as if he had..makeup on..but had forgotten about his throat”(5). Arnold Friend covers his demonic features in order to pass as a teenager with the intention of deceiving Connie into leaving with him. Disguising himself is a method he uses to ensure the she won’t immediately turn him down, but would at least consider his advances to get her
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates is about a teenage girl named Connie who is in the mist of her adolescent rebellion. She wants to prove her maturity to others and herself. In the story, Oates describes that Connie always lets her mind flow freely in between her daydream. She even creates and keeps dreaming about her ideal male figure in her mind to make her happy and satisfied. Oates allows the reader to step into Connie’s “dream world” through the appearance of Arnold Friend. Throughout the story, there are many instances: the illogical time and settings, the similarity between Arnold and Connie and the unrealistic events show that the meeting between Connie and Arnold Friend is a dream. The dream is also a preparation for Connie before she steps onto the stage of being an adult.
She sees the boys who give her attention as subjugations who “dissolve into a single face that was not even a face but an idea” (Oates 675). But soon enough her dreams and music materialize into the shape of Arnold Friend. Arnold Friend is described as a muscular, older, and mysterious character. He seems to be a work of her imagination as he is ultimately an idea she created that would fit into her perfect fantasy world. Connie is defenseless to Arnold Friend’s manipulations mainly because she has no visible identity of her own. Arnold Friend was there to take Connie away; away from her childhood and home, which never quite felt like home until her fantasy world deteriorated and reality set it. The next moment is pivotal, this is when Connie forgets her hedonism and becomes something of much more substance. Before Connie studies Arnold Friend’s abnormal personality and erratic behavior she is fascinated by him and even worries that she is ill prepared for this
As the wise philosopher Albert Camus once said: “The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding” ("Albert Camus."). In the captivating short story Where Are You Going, Where Are you Been? Joyce Carol Oates is trying to show the readers that beauty and vanity can be sometimes harmful. Bored and tired of being ordinary, and still being treated as a child, the main character engaged in a rebellion that think will make her look older, more like an adult. The author also shows the readers how Connie’s obsession with her beauty, her dreaminess and carelessness of the world made her more ignorant and lack awareness. That also made her become more vulnerable to the real dangers and the evilness that exists in the world. That danger was represented by an old man who pretends to be an eighteen year old boy that seduced and kidnaped Connie. The end of the story Joyce Carol Oates leaves it open to the readers, because that way it makes the reader think of what might have happened, whether she got raped or whether she is killed, after the main character leaves with the antagonist of the story. Oates shows that ignorance, narcissism and the lack of