I

I. Introduction
“Where are you going, Where have you been” is a short story composed by Joyce Carol Oates. The narrative is fairly friendly on the surface. The plot follows a fifteen-year-old girl named Connie who is a typical teen – self-consumed, and shallow. She wastes her days at the mall, boy watching and listening to music. However, it becomes clear that Oates’ story has a seemingly dark undertone. This short story is a ‘realistic allegory,’ and Oates utilizes characters in the narrative to represent abstract ideas. A common theme as conveyed in Oats’ work is her belief that the twentieth century is spiritually empty.
II. Discussion
Oates’ short story is centered on a fifteen-year-old girl called Connie. Connie is portrayed as a fairly ordinary teenager. Connie searches for an identity that best suits her, challenging her parents, particularly her mother, and going to extremes on all she does. One night, Connie is out accompanied by her friends at a drive-in restaurant when she catches the eye of a young lad seated at a gold jalopy on the drive’s entrance. Their eyes connect for a limited period then Connie exits and does not see him for the remainder of the night. Days later, Connie’s parents and particularly dull sister go off to her aunt’s barbeque while Connie stays back. After washing her hair, Connie hears a car pull up the driveway. She peeps out and spots the gold jalopy repainted sloppily using red paint, with what seems like two teenagers inside. The driver steps out and introduces himself as Arnold Friendly, the young lad Connie had briefly seen the night before, and then proceeds to ask her to come along for a ride. Initially, Connie refuses, and she starts noticing several unusual things about Friendly. Connie first realizes that Friendly is not eighteen as he initially stated but approaching his thirties. Friendly’s “Young” friend looks like he is in his forties.
Connie is gripped by a cold terror. As they converse more, Friendly becomes increasingly hostile, claiming that he knows all about her as well as her family, and further asserts that she is his lover, she just does not know it yet. Connie observes that Arnold walks as if he has stuffed his shoes with something to make him appear taller. Additionally, he places his sunglasses right on his head like one wearing a wig. He mixes cultural references but most alarmingly is the fact that Friendly and his friend are much older than Connie initially thought. Mild flirtation paves the way for fear. Arnold’s tone remains calm; however, his words become violent and overtly sexual. Connie tries to stand up against Friendly by threatening to phone the police, but Arnold warns if she touches the phone, he will come inside the house after her, plus no fragile glass door will separate him from her. Arnold further describes in vivid detail how an open fire would cause Connie to “run into my arms.” After irrelevant comments and more threats by Friendly, Connie was fed up and ran outside to phone the police, but upon picking the phone, Connie freezes in horror. At this climactic moment, all fades out for Connie, and she collapsed onto the floor. When she recovers, she spots Friendly at the door. Friendly calmly instructs her to place the phone back. Without uttering a word, Connie places the phone back. Arnold then instructs her to step outside and come along for a ride with him; Connie jadedly agrees. The story ends with Connie gazing out the doorway, wondering about her future, and what it could hold.
The story’s characters are mostly static, each portrayed only briefly, and their personalities never actually elaborated upon. First, we have fifteen-year-old Connie, struggling to discover her real identity and added to that, exhibiting the classic deeds of a girl her age. Connie displays the variable, often perplexing acts associated with young females making the changeover to womanhood. Connie rebels against her parents, in a very passive-aggressive manner, establishing two entirely distinct personalities: one for when she is surrounded by her friends, another for her family. Additionally, Connie is a hopeless romantic, influenced by lyrics to well-known songs. But this romanticism does not express itself in her boyfriends, who “dissolved into a single face that was not even a face but an idea.” Arnold Friend conveyed using indirect characterization, undertakes numerous identities throughout the reading. Arnold uses psychological manipulation to abduct girls like Connie and lyrics to popular songs to make Connie core comfortable. Arnold is slowly broken down into a man in his thirties who uses props and makeup to look more appealing to Connie.
Arnold’s friend’s (Ellie) personality has also been different as portrayed in the story. Initially, Ellie seems like Arnold’s harmless follower; however, his small menacing moments transform how the reader views him drastically. Ellie is often very direct in confirming Connie’s nagg
ing fears whereas Arnold is more indirect. First, Ellie offers to “yank the phone” to prevent Connie from phoning for help, then he pulls out a weapon which Friendly speedily scolds him for and instructs him to store away. Ultimately, Ellie is viewed as hostile as is Arnold. June, Connie’s sister is the opposite of Connie. Connie is eye-catching and beautiful, June is “chunky and plain.” Additionally, June lacks the rebellious nature conveyed by Connie. Connie sees herself as her sister’s superior because of her beauty.
To me, the story was a symbolic one. It symbolized life and how as we age we eventually lose the innocence and sense of control we believed we undoubtedly had. Arnold Friend represents the sins associated with the outside world and how no matter how prepared we are, the outside world is extremely out of our control. Starting with promises of a bright future, we all are eventually consumed by the outside world. Oates’ story can be overlaid on many different lessons or morals and can be utilized to help accentuate a point, most of these points having something to do with good and evil.
III. Conclusion
Ultimately, the story boils down to the basic Good vs. Evil battle with the superior cunning of evil shown contrasting to the innocence of good. The story’s open-ended ending lets the reader reflect on their weakness, insecurities, and conflicts. And we, the audience wonder whether the evil hovering over the world is going to get us too. Additionally, the open-ended ending leaves the story to an unlimited number of interpretations depending on how the reader feels the story should end. Overall, the utilization of perspective contributed to the already growing suspension thus resulting in an unforgettable story.

I. Introduction
“Where are you going, Where have you been” is a short story composed by Joyce Carol Oates. The narrative is fairly friendly on the surface. The plot follows a fifteen-year-old girl named Connie who is a typical teen – self-consumed, and shallow. She wastes her days at the mall, boy watching and listening to music. However, it becomes clear that Oates’ story has a seemingly dark undertone. This short story is a ‘realistic allegory,’ and Oates utilizes characters in the narrative to represent abstract ideas. A common theme as conveyed in Oats’ work is her belief that the twentieth century is spiritually empty.
II. Discussion
Oates’ short story is centered on a fifteen-year-old girl called Connie. Connie is portrayed as a fairly ordinary teenager. Connie searches for an identity that best suits her, challenging her parents, particularly her mother, and going to extremes on all she does. One night, Connie is out accompanied by her friends at a drive-in restaurant when she catches the eye of a young lad seated at a gold jalopy on the drive’s entrance. Their eyes connect for a limited period then Connie exits and does not see him for the remainder of the night. Days later, Connie’s parents and particularly dull sister go off to her aunt’s barbeque while Connie stays back. After washing her hair, Connie hears a car pull up the driveway. She peeps out and spots the gold jalopy repainted sloppily using red paint, with what seems like two teenagers inside. The driver steps out and introduces himself as Arnold Friendly, the young lad Connie had briefly seen the night before, and then proceeds to ask her to come along for a ride. Initially, Connie refuses, and she starts noticing several unusual things about Friendly. Connie first realizes that Friendly is not eighteen as he initially stated but approaching his thirties. Friendly’s “Young” friend looks like he is in his forties.
Connie is gripped by a cold terror. As they converse more, Friendly becomes increasingly hostile, claiming that he knows all about her as well as her family, and further asserts that she is his lover, she just does not know it yet. Connie observes that Arnold walks as if he has stuffed his shoes with something to make him appear taller. Additionally, he places his sunglasses right on his head like one wearing a wig. He mixes cultural references but most alarmingly is the fact that Friendly and his friend are much older than Connie initially thought. Mild flirtation paves the way for fear. Arnold’s tone remains calm; however, his words become violent and overtly sexual. Connie tries to stand up against Friendly by threatening to phone the police, but Arnold warns if she touches the phone, he will come inside the house after her, plus no fragile glass door will separate him from her. Arnold further describes in vivid detail how an open fire would cause Connie to “run into my arms.” After irrelevant comments and more threats by Friendly, Connie was fed up and ran outside to phone the police, but upon picking the phone, Connie freezes in horror. At this climactic moment, all fades out for Connie, and she collapsed onto the floor. When she recovers, she spots Friendly at the door. Friendly calmly instructs her to place the phone back. Without uttering a word, Connie places the phone back. Arnold then instructs her to step outside and come along for a ride with him; Connie jadedly agrees. The story ends with Connie gazing out the doorway, wondering about her future, and what it could hold.
The story’s characters are mostly static, each portrayed only briefly, and their personalities never actually elaborated upon. First, we have fifteen-year-old Connie, struggling to discover her real identity and added to that, exhibiting the classic deeds of a girl her age. Connie displays the variable, often perplexing acts associated with young females making the changeover to womanhood. Connie rebels against her parents, in a very passive-aggressive manner, establishing two entirely distinct personalities: one for when she is surrounded by her friends, another for her family. Additionally, Connie is a hopeless romantic, influenced by lyrics to well-known songs. But this romanticism does not express itself in her boyfriends, who “dissolved into a single face that was not even a face but an idea.” Arnold Friend conveyed using indirect characterization, undertakes numerous identities throughout the reading. Arnold uses psychological manipulation to abduct girls like Connie and lyrics to popular songs to make Connie core comfortable. Arnold is slowly broken down into a man in his thirties who uses props and makeup to look more appealing to Connie.
Arnold’s friend’s (Ellie) personality has also been different as portrayed in the story. Initially, Ellie seems like Arnold’s harmless follower; however, his small menacing moments transform how the reader views him drastically. Ellie is often very direct in confirming Connie’s nagg
ing fears whereas Arnold is more indirect. First, Ellie offers to “yank the phone” to prevent Connie from phoning for help, then he pulls out a weapon which Friendly speedily scolds him for and instructs him to store away. Ultimately, Ellie is viewed as hostile as is Arnold. June, Connie’s sister is the opposite of Connie. Connie is eye-catching and beautiful, June is “chunky and plain.” Additionally, June lacks the rebellious nature conveyed by Connie. Connie sees herself as her sister’s superior because of her beauty.
To me, the story was a symbolic one. It symbolized life and how as we age we eventually lose the innocence and sense of control we believed we undoubtedly had. Arnold Friend represents the sins associated with the outside world and how no matter how prepared we are, the outside world is extremely out of our control. Starting with promises of a bright future, we all are eventually consumed by the outside world. Oates’ story can be overlaid on many different lessons or morals and can be utilized to help accentuate a point, most of these points having something to do with good and evil.
III. Conclusion
Ultimately, the story boils down to the basic Good vs. Evil battle with the superior cunning of evil shown contrasting to the innocence of good. The story’s open-ended ending lets the reader reflect on their weakness, insecurities, and conflicts. And we, the audience wonder whether the evil hovering over the world is going to get us too. Additionally, the open-ended ending leaves the story to an unlimited number of interpretations depending on how the reader feels the story should end. Overall, the utilization of perspective contributed to the already growing suspension thus resulting in an unforgettable story.

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