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

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During the teenage years they no longer want to be labeled the “child; matter of fact, they have a strong desire to rebel against the family norms and move quickly into adulthood. This transition and want for freedom can be a very powerful and frightening thing as there are evils in this world that cannot be explained. Most parents try to understand and give their teens certain freedoms, but at what expense? Joyce Oates gives us a chilly story about a teenager that wanted and craved this freedom of adulthood called “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”. This is a haunting story of a young girl by the name of Connie who gives us a glimpse of teenager transitioning from childhood with the need for freedom and the consequences of her actions. Connie is described as a very attractive girl who did not like her role in the family unit. She was the daughter who could not compare to her older sister and she felt her Mom showed favoritism towards her sister. Connie is your average teen who loves music, going out with friends, and she likes the attention she receives from boys. During this time, Connie is also growing into her sexuality and is obsessing with her looks as she wants and likes to be noticed by the opposite sex. Her sexual persona and need to be free will be what is fatal to her character’s life and well-being.
At home Connie would listen to her Mom talk or gossip about other teens and what they were doing, but Connie never led on to her mother as to what she and her friends were doing. Connie would act very differently at home when she was around her family as if she was still in the childhood stage of being good, innocent, and obeying of her parents. Connie would day dream a lot about how life would be if ...


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...common link that most teens have in society. The need and the want to experience some of the adult attributes while still holding on to some aspects of being a child. This is a dilemma that teenagers in society must deal with; however there are also certain evils in the world that are unknown to many.

Works Cited:
Oates, Joyce Carol. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”. Backpack Literature. An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X.J. Kennedy & Dana Gioia. 4th ed. New Jersey: Pearson, 2006. (323-336). Print.

Quirk, Tom. “A Source For “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Ed. Elaine Showalter. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1994. 81-89.

Roberts, Kate “The Paradox of Teenage Girls: Today Are They to Grown Up or Lagging Down?” http//drkateroberts.com 2013/12/25. Web 4/25/2014.



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