Essay on Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

Essay on Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

Length: 1266 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


In Joyce Carol Oates, “Where are you going, Where have you been,” she attempts and succeeds in warning young women of the dangers of growing up too fast. The short story follows the path of young Connie as she dances the line between reality and fantasy while attempting to grow up quicker than she is prepared to. Oates is able to illustrate the issue of coming of age in modern era especially in more recent generations.
Before deeply analyzing the text, it is important to understand the time period in which Oates is writing . During 60’s it was common to see women’s style and attitude changing as they were advocating for their rights to break from the role of the housewife. One of the most noticeable changes from the 60’s was the clothing clothing. In contrast to previous years the 60’s were more fashion forward in terms of showing off in the 60’s. With style icons such as Jane Fonda, Audrey Hepburn, and Verushka women added fashion as a way to express themselves. (MarieClaire) However, due to the sudden change in culture young girls felt the need to mimic what they saw women of more mature stature doing. The phrase “kids these days” was never more appropriate, this being due to most parents growing up in a time, the 20’s, where skirts never came above the ankle and women stayed, “seen, not heard”. This is where Oates found the need to write a warning for those young girls who were attempting to mimic way beyond their years.
When taking a closer look at the title “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been” one can see the setup for the story and the basic message that is being conveyed. Don’t ignore the past when moving forward. “where are you going,” meaning what is your future and, where have you been?” mea...


... middle of paper ...


... foreshadows Arnold’s arrival at Connie 's house where he repeats “Gonna get you baby” to Connie, this time however she is aware of the weight of his words.
The theme of rebellion can be seen consistently throughout the story as Connie continuously attempts to state her independence. Oates uses this theme to demonstrate that though it is good to be an independent person, it is also good to stay on a steady course and not rush things that take time, when making cookies you don 't through all the ingredients into a pan you mix them first following the correct steps.
In the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” Joyce Carol Oates implores young girls to beware the dangers of growing up and take the proper steps before moving forward. Her use of symbolism, themes, and various other devices allows for a successful story in which to serve as a message.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Transition in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been Essay

- Transition in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been         Each of us experiences transitions in our lives. Some of these changes are small, like moving from one school semester to the next. Other times these changes are major, like the transition between youth and adulthood. In Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", the author dramatizes a real life crime story to examine the decisive moment people face when at the crossroads between the illusions and innocence of youth and the uncertain future....   [tags: Where Are You Going Where Have You Been]

Better Essays
3642 words (10.4 pages)

Connie’s Choice in Where are you Going, Where have you Been? Essay

- Where are you Going, Where have you Been. – Connie’s Choice I think Connie opened the screen door because she wanted to escape from her life with her family into some kind of fantasy. I think there were other reasons also, but the story points to this one in many places. First of all, Connie was not happy at home. The story says that her father "was away at work most of the time," and "didn't bother talking much to them," so Connie didn't have love from him and had to find male attention somewhere else....   [tags: Where Are You Going Where Have You Been]

Free Essays
468 words (1.3 pages)

An Analysis of Joyce Carol Oates’ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

- 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]

Better Essays
1898 words (5.4 pages)

Death and Reality in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

- 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]

Free Essays
1268 words (3.6 pages)

Reader Response Essay - Joyce Carol Oates's Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

- Reader Response Essay - Joyce Carol Oates's Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. As I began reading “Where are you going, where have you been?” by Joyce Carol Oates I found myself relating the experiences of Connie, the girl in the story, to my own personal experiences. She spoke of going to a friend’s house and having her friend’s father drive them to the shopping mall so that they could walk around and socialize or go see a movie. I found that this related very closely with my own experiences of being fifteen years old because it was always someone else’s parents driving my friends and I to the movies or to the mall....   [tags: Where Are You Going Where Have You Been]

Better Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)

The Devil in Joyce Carol Oates' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

- 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]

Better Essays
1512 words (4.3 pages)

The Role of the Antagonists in the Short Stories "Where Have You Been, Where are You Going" and "Love in LA"

- Like all great stories throughout time, a compelling villain is the key to making a story worthwhile. In short stories like, “Where have you been, where are you going,” and, “Love in LA,” a though provoking antagonist was used by the authors to really give the stories some depth. The antagonist of, “Where have you been…”Arnold Friend takes on the persona of temptation to the protagonist Connie and really emphasizes the theme of be careful what you wish for. Connie was a young girl who repeatedly met up with older more mature boys; but one day Arnold Friend arrives at her house and coerces her to leave with him....   [tags: Where have you been where are you going, love in L]

Better Essays
725 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates

- 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]

Better Essays
612 words (1.7 pages)

Carol Oats' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

- The story "Where are You Going, Where Have You Been" written by Carol Oats is about a girl who flaunts her beauty which ultimately leads to her abduction. After the story is read the question is, was the author trying to show Connie's situation as fate or free will. The situation Connie got herself in was caused by free will. Connie's character played a big role in what ultimately happened to her. Connie's actions could give people bad ideas about her, and Connie does leave her house without physical force....   [tags: Carol Oats Where Going Been]

Free Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Joyce Carol Oates' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
659 words (1.9 pages)