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Essay on ‘’Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?’’

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Analysis of Connie’s Character and Her Demise
There are some stories that capture the reader’s attention and which keep us riveted from the beginning to the ultimate line of the tale. ‘’Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?’’, a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates in 1966, is one of those. Inspired by the mythic song of the phenomenal singer Bob Dylan entitled ‘’It’s all over Now, Baby Blue,’’ the author describes the main character as a 15-year-old girl named ‘’ Connie’’, who is obsessed by her beauty and does not get along with her family. The heroine of the story ‘’Connie,’’ engages in an adolescent rebellion against her entourage by acting to appear older. This increases her vulnerability through the story and at the end leads her to a perverse person. A psychological approach of this teenager’s behavior would highlight some difficulties youth encounters in their mid-adolescent life. Some attitudes that she exhibits in her fantasy life are egocentric, superficial, narcissistic, sophisticated and provocative, and they should be considered responsible for her disappearance.
Among the characters involved in the story Connie is undoubtedly the one that carries the most sympathy in the reader’s view. In the first place, her egocentric and her superficial attitude, which she seems to have because of her fragile and instable adolescence, is one of Connie’s weak traits. Connie blindly believes in herself. She is not conscious of her mother’s and her sister’s attitudes toward her. The relationship between her and the rest of the family suffers as a consequence of her megalomania. For example, when Connie’s mother notices the excessive way she pays attention to her appearance and attractiveness, she points out her concerns to...


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...arie Urbanski believe that Connie leaves with Arnold Friend because she is, ‘’bowing to absolute forces which her youthful coquetry cannot direct-absolute forces over which she has no control’’ (Clifford). To sum up, Joyce Carol Oates presents an image of young women who are insecure, hopeless and rebel against the norms of society. Those kinds of girls like Connie continue to exist in society and the shadow of people like Arnold Friend is always nearby for such women.



Works Cited

Henderson, Gloria Mason, Anna Dunlap Higgins, Bill Day, Sandra Stevenson Waller. Literature
and Ourselves. 6th ed. New York: Publishing Services Inc., 2009. Print.
Clifford J. Kurkowski. ‘’A Psychological Analysis of Connie’’: A Feminist Viewpoint of "Where
Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Web. 17 Feb, 2012




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