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Analysis of Where are you Going, Where Have you Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

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The things we do are what define ourselves. Desperate teenagers tend to make unreasonable decisions trying to fit into society. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?,” a story written by Joyce Carol Oates relates the story of a young girl that flaunts her beauty which ultimately leads to her abduction. Lost in a fantasy world, Connie, a self-absorbed 15-year-old girl, spends much of her time going out with her friends and meeting older boys. One night, she captures a stranger’s attention and he decides to do whatever it takes to take her with him. On a Sunday afternoon, Arnold Friend, the obsessed stranger, pulls up in front of Connie’s house in a gold convertible with his friend, Oscar. With smooth-talking and charismatic words Arnold tries to convince Connie to go with them for a ride. Connie slowly realizes that Arnold is a threat and refuses to go with them. This makes Arnold become forceful and he threatens to harm her family if she calls the police. At the end, Connie does everything Arnold says and fall into his malice hands. I believe that the main character in this sto...


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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates: A Critical Analysis - “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”: A Critical Analysis Of her hundreds of short stories, Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” continues to be widely discussed among literary critics. In his article “Oates’s Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, David Gratz claims that Oates’s story can be read as a parable for a young girl’s fear of adulthood. He agrees there is much textual evidence that Connie dreams of her disturbing experience with Arnold Friend and that he is a “psychological projection” (Gratz 55) of her subconscious fears....   [tags: fears, sex, physical metamorphosis]
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