Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Victim Analysis

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Connie: The Victim To A Demon The “heroine” of the short story Where Are You Going Where Have You Been written by Joyce Carol Oates has been interpreted in many different ways by many different authors across the globe. They all have their own opinions on why Connie had left her home and walked into the arms of Arnold Friend. Larry Rain makes the argument that Connie was a noble heroine that “chooses the side with the devil [to save her family]” (Rain Gale). It seems like a valid argument and paints Connie as a much more heroic figure than many believe, but it begins to fall apart once her character is actually examined. Through her actions and emotions, Connie shows traits of a passive victim by completely submitting to Arnold, being mentally broken by him, and by barely attempting to retaliate…show more content…
Through the duration of their “conversation”, Arnold was able to make her completely give up her free will to him. Connie gives up everything she had ever owned to him, even her “pounding heart [is] nothing that [is Connie’s]” after Arnold takes control of her. (Oates 11). Willingly doing whatever someone says regardless of consequence is enough to classify someone as a victim on its own. But not only was Connie doing whatever Arnold said, she was even giving herself to him. By giving herself up to Arnold she loses even “her own identity” (Korb Gale). By the end of Connie and Arnold’s conversation, Connie has lost herself. She has become a puppet that will do whatever Arnold wants her to do. Her submission to Arnold “spells a conquest of both space and will.” (Gillis Gale). Not only had Connie given up all the physical things she owned, but also her own free will to Arnold. She gave up everything she had available to her, a feat that could only be accomplished by a passive victim. A noble heroine wouldn’t submit herself to someone as easily as Connie
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