Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Theme Analysis

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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. 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…show more content…
He symbolizes the dark side of reality. The author conveys Arnold as being a “bad boy.” Arnold knows that he can take advantage of Connie and nothing is going to stop him from doing so. He is a predator and is determined to lure Connie even if it means by force. Everything about the way Arnold looks and acts represents his shady and dark persona. Arnold’s hair is “shaggy, shabby black hair that looked crazy as a wig” (197). Also Arnold’s sunglasses serve as another symbol. His sunglasses reflect mirror images and don’t show his eyes. This is a symbol of disguise as if he is trying to hide who he really is. Arnold’s car is also a major symbol in this short story. It serves as a contrast between who Arnold is and who he is disguised as. The car symbolizes the fantasy and the reality aspect of Arnold. The new paint job on his car is used to symbolize Arnold’s fake disguise that he puts on to lure Connie in. Arnold’s car becomes a major example of his dark appearance and nature. The color of his car which is gold represents being flashy. Also it represents as being an out there person. As if he is trying to attract a younger crowd. Arnold has his full name, “Arnold Friend” written in tarlike black letters on the side of his car with a drawing of a round, grinning face that reminded Connie of a pumpkin, except it wore sunglasses (197). This reflects how Arnold tries to fit in with the young kids even though he is much older. Connie asks Arnold how old he is and she realizes that he is not a kid he might be thirty or older. When Connie realizes that Arnold is much older than she thought, she is taken over by fear of what’s going to happen. This situation is much different than anything else she has ever
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