“She was fifteen and she had a quick nervous giggling habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people’s faces to make sure her own was all right” (Oates, 259). Connie didn’t like being compared to her sister June by her mother and felt as if her mother only thought that she sat around all day daydreaming about boys. The only good thing that June did in Connie’s eyes was go out with her friends, which justified Connie being able to go out with hers. Connie would lie about going to the movie with her friend and they would end up going to hang out with older boys at restaurants and in allies until her friends dad would pick them up. One night Connie spent 3 hours with a boy she had met eating at a restaurant and then down an alley to hang out with
When going out with friends, she would leave the place where she would be dropped off at and go hang out with boys. Connie loved the attention she received from older guys that she would sometimes daydream about boys, like told in this line “thinking and dreaming about the boys she met” (2).
By contrasting Connie's unremarkable suburban life with Arnold Friend's frightening presence, Oates deftly creates the mood. Connie's narcissistic characteristics
Once his true identity became apparent, his tactics were already working against her. In the beginning Connie was a self-absorbed and conceited person. She states, “Connie knew she was pretty and that was everything.” Here, Connie is showing us that her looks are all that matter to her.
In Joyce Carol Oates’s short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” the main protagonist finds herself in a very hostile situation. With an all most fateful encounter with a man known as Arnold Friend. Forcing her to choose whether to run off with him or taking her by force. This man known as Arnold Friend to the reader comes off as almost a demon. A person who uses many temptations, word play, and threats to take advantage of the young protagonist Connie.
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.
Again, the reader sees traditional values placed against changing times, reinforcing Connie’s internal struggle to define
In the coming of age story “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates uses symbolism, conflict, and the third person to foreshadow fifteen-year-old Connie’s unfortunate, yet untimely fate. While one may think that the conflict stems from Connie’s promiscuity, it is clear to see her promiscuity is only a result to a much bigger conflict, her mother’s constant nagging and disapproval, alongside the lack of attention from her father. the author paints a vivid picture of what happens when a fifteen-year-old girl such as Connie goes elsewhere to find to find the love, attention, and approval that she lacks at home. All which is vital for her growth and wellbeing as a person.
In her short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", Joyce Carol Oates utilizes a variety of literary devices to strengthen the story in its entirety. This short story is essentially about a 16-year-old girl named Connie and the conflict between her desire to be mature and her desire to remain an adolescent. Throughout the story, the audience sees this conflict through her words in addition to through her behavior. The audience is also introduced to Arnold Friend, a rather peculiar man, who essentially kidnaps her. This short story by Joyce Carol Oates functions and is additionally meaningful because of her usage of literary devices.
Connie’s first encounter with Friend was at a diner when he stated to Connie, “Gonna get you, baby”(pg.1142). Because Connie was use to this type of attention, she did not view it as strange that an older man was calling her in such away. However, if Connie had seen Friend as dangerous instead of just another man, her kidnapping might have been prevented. Later in the story when Friend showed up as Connie’s house, she walked outside and talked to him instead of questioning how he knew where she lived or calling the police. Oates described Connie's interaction with Friend by stating,“Connie liked the way he was dressed, which was the way all of them dressed: tight faded jeans stuffed into black, scuffed boots, a belt that pulled his waist in and showed how lean he was, and a white pullover shirt that was a little soiled and showed the hard muscles of his arms and shoulders”(pg.1145).
In “The Flowers”, Alice Walker explores the woods through the eyes of a little girl named Myop, but she soon realizes the world isn’t as nice as flowers. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, Joyce Carol Oates follows a young girl named Connie who is focused on others and her own appearance, until she is introduced to the world in a unexpected way. Both Walker and Oates use young girls to show the harsher sides of the world and how their childhood changes to adulthood in different ways. The main thing that Myop and Connie have in common is that they are both females, but their looks and the way the live are totally different.
Fantasy V.S. Reality 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.
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.
“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.” ( ).
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. One psychological issue of Connie that is easily inferred from the beginning of the story is her insecurity about her looks. Connie constantly worries about the way that she looks and takes any opportunity to do so, “craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people's faces to make sure her own was all right” (1).