Essay on Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been By Joyce Carol

Essay on Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been By Joyce Carol

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In her short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” Joyce Carol Oats demonstrates how vanity and innocence combined, can bring bad consequences in someone’s life. That is the characterization that the author gives about Connie, a 15 year old teenager who thought that she had the world in her hands, because she never thought of the consequences of being promiscuous or too “outgoing.” The innocence of her age and her overconfident personality did not let her see how vulnerable she was to the dangers of the outside world.
The author of the short story projects Connie as a very independent, extrovert and libertine teenager, who just liked to hang out with her girlfriends, and meet boys. Her outgoing personality combined with her physical appearance went on hand because she was a good looking person. Connie knew she was pretty, which gave her enough confidence to get any boy she wanted, and also gave her the confidence to do whatever she wanted. This attitude did not let her fit in her family. Her relationship with them was not the greatest, her mother would prefer her older sister than her. June, Connie’s oldest sister was perfect for her mother’s eyes, this way creating a barrier in between Connie and her mother. Oats gives descriptions about how hard it was for Connie and her mom to get along. For example, when she says: ”Sometimes, over coffee, they were almost friends, but something would come up-some vexation that was like a fly buzzing suddenly around their heads-and their faces went hard with contempt” (p.438). The distance between Connie and her mom was one of the reasons why she was always out. The lack of communication that Connie had with her parents led her to live a libertine life, where she could easily lie to...


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...n his aggression and persuasive words. A clear example of this is when it says: “The place where you came from ain’t there anymore, and where you had in mind to go is cancelled out. This place you are inside now-inside your daddy’s house- is nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down anytime” (p.447). After persuading her, he gets really aggressive because he can see that Connie won’t get out of the house. Therefore, innocent Connie decides to go with Arnold Friend.
Indeed, Connie was an innocent teenager who did not realize about the danger in the outside world, blinded by her overconfident personality. Also, even though Connie had an extrovert personality she did not notice that Arnold Friend was stalking her all that time. In conclusion, Connie put in risk her life because she couldn’t realize the dangers in her surroundings, blinded by her own self.
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