Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Meaning

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“Where are you going, where have you been” is a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates. Oates gained inspiration for one of the main characters from a real serial killer she had read about in the newspaper. Bob Dylan’s song, “It’s all over now, Baby blue” was another source of inspiration for Oates. This story focuses on Connie, a self-absorbed, beautiful 15-year-old who often fought with her mother and loved to daydream. Connie loved to hang out with her friends and meet older boys. On a date, she noticed a guy in a gold convertible. The same guy, Arnold Friend and his friend, Ellie, showed up at her house while her family was gone to a barbeque. Arnold is trying to convince Connie to take a ride with him but Connie is fearful of his intentions. Through manipulation and threats, he finally lured the young girl to leave with him. In “Where are you going, where have you been”, Joyce Carol Oates used inspiration from a song and serial killer to write an incredible short story packed with themes and symbolism.
Oates said she got inspiration to write this story from reading an article about Charles Schmid. Charles Schmid, also known as “The Pied Piper of Tucson”, was a serial killer that admitted to murdering 3 teenage girls. Schmid bragged about the murders and eventually got caught. According to an article online, “In 1966, a jury found Schmid guilty and a judge sentenced him to death. Arizona abolished the
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The links between song, “It’s all over now, baby blue” and the story are very interesting. The serial killer, Charles Schmid inspired the character, Arnold Friend. Arnold Friend is also used as a symbol for the devil throughout the story. In the story, there were many indications that represented him as the devil. Along with symbolism, Oates used themes in this story to emphasize
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