Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been By Joyce Carol Oates

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Joyce Carol Oates is known for stories that have an everlasting effect on readers. Oates writing style was explained best herself, “I would like to create the physiological and emotional equivalent of an experience, so completely and in such exhaustive detail, that anyone who reads it sympathetically will have experienced that event in his mind” (Joslin 372). Oates’ short story Where are You going, Where have you been? perfectly fits the description of her work by placing the protagonist of the story Connie in a very uncomfortable situation with the antagonist Arnold Friend. The story focuses the aforementioned Connie and Arnold, Connie is 15 year old girl who loves the spotlight and all the attention that comes with it. Her beauty and vibrant…show more content…
The tragic situation of Connie relates to the real life chain of murders in Tucson, Arizona. Tom Quirk iterates that Oates seems to get her creative imagination from “real criminal and real crime”, the irony is the story of Connie is sadly all too familiar in society (Quirk 413). The characters of Eddie and Ellie Oscar are figures that are not particularly familiar to readers. The lack of dialogue from these characters tend to neglect their significance, however studying them may actually connect a few dots that Oates purposely leaves for the reader to wonder. The comparison of Eddie and Ellie inclines that they are actually the same person. From research into Ellie’s appearance and mysterious motivation to remain unnoticed by Connie hints at the notion that instead of young teenage boy named Eddie accompanying Connie at the restaurant, it was none other than Ellie disguising himself. Although some find it bizarre that Connie could not see Eddie/Ellie for who he was while spending hours with him, one must take into account that Connie was more into herself rather than the boy she was with. Along with Connie’s natural infatuation with herself, the drive-in restaurant presented distractions such as the bright lights and loud music which aided Eddie/Ellie. The main antagonist Arnold Friend makes various statements and questionable actions that support the theory that Ellie has already encountered Connie at some point in time, thus providing the explanation as to how he knew so much information about
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