Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

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It’s Only a Dream
In the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” the author Joyce Carol Oates, tells a breathtaking story about a teenage girl named Connie. Connie is faced with an earth-shattering situation with a stranger who is known as Arnold Friend throughout the story. To the reader of the story, Connie could be seen as hopeless and self-absorbed, who is looking for someone to accept her. She uses her beauty to make herself feel mature and get the boys attention. However, when Connie ran into Arnold, her beauty only made her look like an easy target. Throughout the story, the character’s reactions made it clear to the reader Connie’s earth-shattering experience was only part of a dream.
The dream in the short story, starts off when Connie does not take a part in the family party, but instead she stays home to day dream and laying out in the sun, while taking care of her hair. The author Joyce Carol Oates, tells the reader that “Connie sat with her eyes closed in the sun” (202). With this being said, it could simply mean that Connie had fallen asleep while sunbathing outside, which could be easily done. Furthermore, the author Joyce Carol Oates wrote, “and when she opened her eyes she hardly knew where she was…She shook her head as if to get awake” (202). From a readers point of view, this could mean that she had a woken from a terrible dream. Just like when anyone else who has woken up from a terrible dream, they shake it off to hopefully never re-live it again. For an example, the author reveals descriptions of the characters breathing which are relevant to person who is sleeping.
The day before Connie’s earth-shattering experience, she was at the restaurant which became part of her dream. When Connie fi...


... middle of paper ...


...ming, is the author, Joyce Carol Oates, states that Connie “watches herself” it is substantially impossible for her to be able to watch herself leave with Arnold without her dreaming (210). It is said that while people are dream they are able to see themselves doing the things they would never do while awake.
After waking up from this horrible dream in Joyce Carol Oates’s short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” the reader can securely say Connie was dreaming throughout the story. The way Connie was able to recognize Arnold Friend even though she’s never met him, and when she was not able to recognize her own home is proof that this is a dream. The author provides several examples throughout the story to support this philosophy. The author lets the reader choose the character’s destiny, which is waking up from the terrible dream that is not reality.

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