In 1965, Bob Dylan released an album to the public titled Bringing it all Back Home and within, it contained one of his more popular songs entitled “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” (USF P:7). In the Seagull Reader, it states the dedication ‘for Bob Dylan’ that Joyce Carol Oates placed before the short story Where are you Going, Where have you Been? and many have wondered why (Oates 337). This short story is based upon a realistic situation in Tucson, Arizona about a serial killer who seduced and murdered teenaged girls, much like Arnold Friend was in the process of doing so with Connie, our main character (336). In an interview, Oates stated when asked about the dedication that it wasn’t actually based upon the song Baby Blue at all, yet she said, “The haunting melody of "Baby Blue" seemed to beautifully approximate the atmosphere of my story, as of that time,” (USF P:8). This melody can be considered an external influence that inspired Oates to write Where are you Going… which is about a very haunting topic; the idea that there are young girls being pursued no matter their background or circumstances. There may also be very key internal influences that persuaded Oates to write this story, but some of them will never be known because of the vast range of differences of perception that are present in all mankind. Arnold Friend’s and Connie’s psychological mindsets and actions suggest that Friend pursues young women because of internal influences and Connie is vain because of her parents external order and direction in her life; these hamartia’s are the pre-emanating factors contributing to this story’s denouement.
Connie has many external influenc...
... middle of paper ...
...nie had not been vain through the stimulus of her external influences, and if Friend was not considered a rapist because of his internal elements, then there would not be a crime committed in the story. Oates write this story with a purpose, as all short stories are written, yet she forces the reader to think of the ‘what ifs’ for each character. If Connie was not vain because of her family, she would not have made herself pretty to simply eat with her friends at the drive in restaurant. If Friend was not swayed at a young age that aggressive sexual actions and unsolicited pursuing are considered normal, he would not have been at that diner looking for a victim. No matter how much one thinks they make decisions for themselves, external and internal factors will always subconsciously shape the actions of an individual, and they will change the course of ones’ future.
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