Where are you Going? Where Have you Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

1090 Words5 Pages
Where Are You Going, Where have you been? is a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates. The 75 year old American author and professor at Princeton University, introduce the story of 15 year old Connie who is rebelling against her mother’s whishes. A very arrogant and selfish girl that in her world the only thing that matters is how many heads she can turn when walking into a room. Through the story life gives her a test, to confront Arnold Friend, the antagonist of the story; who possesses a nefarious power beyond her own experience.

Oates takes us to a journey of rebellion as the protagonist sorts through self-created illusion in order to come to terms with her own sexual inexperience. Connie’s desires for attention from the opposite sex, her vanity and immaturity blind her to think of the real intentions of guys, in this case Arnold Friend. A character that many critics argue is real, yet, others argue it was created by Connie’s mind.

Everything happened one Sunday, that day Connie got up at eleven “washed her hair so that it could dry all day long” (71). According to Connie it was a hot and sunny Sunday. As she sees her family leave to the Barbecue at her aunts house, which she refused to go just to avoid being with kids running around and yelling. We all know its Connie’s worst mistake, now she gets to test

Connie sits outside enjoying the sunny day and listening to music. We learn that music is her major weakness, it disconnects Connie from the real world, making her daydream and think of guys, in this case the author tells that she was thinking of everything she did with Eddie the night before and of how nice and gentle he was.

She heard a car coming up thru the driveway, a car she did not recall at the moment. “It w...

... middle of paper ...

..."Joyce Carol Oates's "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" As Pure Realism." Studies In Short Fiction 26.4 (1989): 505-510. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Mar. 2014.

Joyce M. Wegs, '"Don't You Know Who I Am?': The Grotesque in Oates's 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'," in The Journal of Narrative Technique, Vol. 5, No. 1, January, 1975, pp. 66-72.

Tierce, Mike, and John Michael Crafton. "Connie's Tambourine Man: A New Reading Of Arnold Friend." Studies In Short Fiction 22.2 (1985): 219. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Mar. 2014.

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.

Marine78. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?.” 14 Oct. 2007 eNotes

7 March. 2014. http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-do-number-33-19-17-signify-story-they-written-9007

More about Where are you Going? Where Have you Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

Open Document