It is well known that the most awkward and difficult time in one’s life is adolescence. One is faced with the challenges of discovering who one is and what one wants out of life. One finds themselves frustrated and confused in this particular stage. They are mid way between a bridge. They have left childhood but have not yet reached adulthood. They struggle to find some sense of being and individuality in the world. They are on a quest to find themselves, and in search of a path that will lead them to future happiness. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” is a short story written by Joyce Oates .In her short story Oates shows how easily susceptible one is in this stage of life. Oates shows in her story how the quest of finding one’s self, gives one a false sense of knowledge. It is this false sense of knowledge and the search for self and identity that produces the tragic outcome of the character within Oates’ story.
The setting of “Where Are You Going, Where have You Been,” takes place in the late 60’s early 70’s. This is evident by the reference to Bobby King and the XYZ Sunday programming station which was mentioned within the story (p.122). The 1960s and early 1970s marked the era of the women's movement. Economic shifts meant that more women worked outside the home, and Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, resulting in many political battles during the long ratification process. In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a woman's right to privacy allowed for legal abortion. Woman know began to have voices. The world was drastically changing and it is within this drastically changing world that Oates introduces four main characters...
... middle of paper ...
...ave You Been,” As nothing more then a dream. However others view it as, “feminist allegory which suggests that young women of today, like the generations that have come before them, are headed into sexual bondage”. (Korb). There is no evidence to suggest that Connie is experiencing a dream. However there is evidence that suggest that Connie had an untimely death. “watching this body and this head of long hair moving out into the sunlight where Arnold Friend waited.”(p.135) Oates depicts in her story the important of self identity. Arnold Friend is not a symbolic representation of the “devil” as some critics believe him to be. Arnold Friend character is an representation of the challenges and test one faces in ones every day life. It is conquering these challenges and test , that instills in us knowledge, knowledge which brings us one step closer to finding ourselves.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Family plays a key role in all societies and cultures, and happiness is the direct result of the love within a family. The text discussed in the family theme has portrayed examples of both happy and very unhappy families. Three pieces of literature that discuss themes pertaining to the happiness and well-being of a family are Daddy, Sonny’s Blues, and On Going Home. While some of the themes raised in these works such as forgiveness and unconditional love are vital in order for families to be happy, themes involving change and loss are most certainly not necessary in contributing to a family’s happiness.... [tags: Daddy, Sonny's Blues, On Going Home]
977 words (2.8 pages)
- Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates Is Arnold Friend the Devil in disguise in Joyce Carol Oates' short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" If one were to look at the facts surrounding the actual event this story was based on, any assumption that "Friend" was anything but a man would be thrown out due to logic. However, if one were to look at the story alone, he could concede that Friend is indeed the Devil or at least the Devil's angel. First, there is the physical description of Arnold Friend.... [tags: Papers Joyce Oates Going Essays]
612 words (1.7 pages)
- Joyce Carol Oates' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. Joyce Carol Oates was born in 1938 in Lockport, New York. She started writing very young and that the age of fifteen she submitted her first novel, but it was rejected for being 'too dark';. This style of writing is common on many of her works including 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'; Oates graduated from Syracuse University and then went on to get her master's degree from the University of Wisconsin. Oates 'turned much often in her writing to everyday characters, which she often placed in situations that were both psychologically and socially terrifying.'; (Short Stories For Students 258) Where Are You Going, Whe... [tags: Joyce Carol Oates Where Going Been Essays]
1540 words (4.4 pages)
- Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Every person comes face to face at some point in life with vital decisions. Some of the decisions are minor ones, while others can bring turning points in life. In Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?' she displays a particular instant in the main character's life. This character, Connie was caught in the difficult transition from her youth and innocence to a doubtful future. Throughout the story Connie alternates between two very different sides of her personality, one side where she is innocent and young, and the other where she is mature.... [tags: Where Going Been Oates Joyce Essays]
659 words (1.9 pages)
- Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates In Joyce Carol Oates story, a teenage girl named Connie was stripped of her innocence. " Gonna get you baby"( 497).This chilling line is what the devil said to Connie the first time Connie came in contact with him which foreshadows of things to come. This one comment clearly points to a situation where Connie would be taken from a safe haven of innocence. She would be TAKEN, not simply invited. Connie was a regular teenage girl set in the 1960's who wanted to rebel against her parents and authority.... [tags: Papers Going Been Oates Essays Papers]
1549 words (4.4 pages)
- Connie, the main character in Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going. Where Have You Been" is a fifteen-year-old girl, just realizing her beauty. It is summer vacation, and she is spending her time either with boys or daydreaming about them. Connie is a typical teenage girl with a desperate need for independence. She does not get along with her mother, and her father is seldom around. He works a great deal of the time, and when he comes home, he likes to eat and go to bed. Connie has a girlfriend who she enjoys going to the mall with.... [tags: Joyce Oates Literature Novel Analysis]
1214 words (3.5 pages)
- An Analysis of Joyce Carol Oates’ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most productive writers of our time. Between 1971-95, Oates published twenty-five novels, eighteen short story compilations, three collections of novellas, five volumes of poetry, six editions of plays, eight books of essays, and countless more umcollected works (Kellman 487). As the format for her writing varies, so does her subject matter. Her creations cover a wide range of genres, but Oates' main fascination is contemporary America with its "colliding social and economic forces, its philosophical contradictions, its wayward, often violent energies" (Johnson 8).... [tags: Where Are You Going Where Have You Been]
1898 words (5.4 pages)
The Transition from Childhood to Adulthood in Joyce Carol Oates' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
- The Transition from Childhood to Adulthood in Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" All people experience changes in their life. Some of these changes are small such as the passing from one grade to another in school. Other changes are more intense, such as the transition from childhood to adulthood. In Joyce Carol Oates. ?Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?. Oates goes into depth regarding the transition from being a carefree, innocent child to adulthood. In the short story ?Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?.... [tags: Where Going Been Oats Joyce Essays Papers]
623 words (1.8 pages)
- The Devil in Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Her name is Connie, and she is not unlike many girls of the time she lives in. She is vain, she is constantly at war with her family, and she is in an incredible rush to grow up. Her race to maturity is the trait focused on in Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been." It splits Connie into two different personalities: 'One for home, and one for anywhere that was not home' (431). Everything about her?her walk, her smile, and her laugh?metamorphoses as soon as she steps out the front door.... [tags: Where Are You Going Where Have You Been]
1512 words (4.3 pages)
- Death and Reality in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is about a young girl's struggle to escape reality while defying authority and portraying herself as a beauty queen; ultimately, she is forced back to reality when confronted by a man who symbolizes her demise. The young girl, Connie, is hell- bent on not becoming like her mother or sister. She feels she is above them because she is prettier.... [tags: Where Are You Going Where Have You Been]
1268 words (3.6 pages)