In the story “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?’ Connie does not have a good relationship with her relatives. Her family relationship is unhealthy. Her mother says demeaning things to her like “Stop gawking at yourself, who are you? You think you’re so pretty?” (Oates qtd. in Kirszner and Mandell, 453 ). Or even things like “she makes me want to throw up sometimes” (Joyce Carol Oates 453). Connie knows she is the outcast of her family. At this point in her young life she makes rebellious decisions against her family and she shows this by “refusing to attend a family panic, Connie is rejecting not only her family’s company, but the settled order of their existence” (Existential Allegory: Joyce Carol Oates ‘where are you going, where have you been’ Marie Mitchell Olesen Urbanski).
The story took an unexpected spin and really started to unravel when Connie chooses not to go with her family to the picnic. The mysterious Arnold Friend goes to Connie’s house. He tries to convince Connie to take a ride in his car. Most people will deny the offer, but seeing as though Connie is unruly, she is easily persuaded by Arnold . Arnold deceives Connie with his charm and ride. He takes her to a place where she does not know. We find that Mr. Friend is not so friendly, but a sick soul with a loose...
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...t being said Connie knew that going with him there is a huge possibility that she may not survive and the author said it when she wrote “....vast sunlit reaches of the land behind him and on all sides of him, so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to eat” (Joyce Carol Oates 466). I also think that at this point Connie is rethinking some of the choices she made in the past because she choose to go with them instead of people her family at risk even though they don’t really get along.
Overall, I feel as though Connie not having a strong connection with her family motivates her to be unruly and that leads her to make some bad decisions. These things influence what happened to her in the end of the story. It comes with a life lesson on the importance of family and parents being in their children 's lives.
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