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Behind the facade of a killer: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

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Agatha Christie once stated, “Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions” (Thompson). In a perfect world, there is no such thing as crime and every action committed by a person has a positive outcome. But knowing there is no such thing as a perfect world, incidents happen. The Federal Bureau of Investigation declared recently that crime has risen .7 percent since 2011 (Department, U.S Justice). With a brief love for crime and violence, Joyce Carol Oates conveys these unjust acts of disobedience into short stories. Though her stories prove intriguing, and her details of physical characteristics are exact, she lacks the realistic details of an actual killer. Presented in her short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Oates character Arnold Friend lacks the potential to kill in comparison to Charles Schmid. The real life serial killer Arnold depicts. Schmid is a much scarier killer with a more demented mindset.
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? “tells a story of teenage girl Connie, whose wild child antics cause her to become the special interest of Arnold Friend. Spending time at the local hangout for older kids, and committing lustful acts in alleys, Connie disregards the odd brown haired boy in the gold jalopy staring her way. Unnoticing Arnold until the Sunday afternoon his gold jalopy pulls up her drive. “ He wasn’t tall, only an inch or so taller than she would be if she came down to him … his face was a familiar face, somehow: the jaw chin and cheeks slightly darkened, because he hadn’t shaved for a day or two, and the nose long and hawk –like” (Oates 441). Intrigued by his looks, Conni...


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...tland: Feral House, 1996. Print.

Moser, Don. "The Pied Piper of Tuscon." Life 4 Mar. 1966: n. pag. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Oates, Joyce Carol. "When Characters From the Page Are Made Flesh on the Screen." The New York Times. N.p., 23 Mar. 1986. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Oates, Joyce Carol. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Exploring Literature: Writing and Arguing about Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. By Frank Madden. 5th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2012. 436-48. Print.
Quirk, Tom. "A Source for "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"" Nothing Abstract: Investigations in the American Literary Imagination. Columbia: University of Missouri, 2001. 191-98. Print.
Schafer, William J. "Murder In the Desert." Myazbar.org. Arizona Attorney, Sept. 2008. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Thompson, Laura. Agatha Christie: An English Mystery. London: Headline Review, 2007. Print.



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