The author of more than twenty novels and numerous volumes of short stories, poems, plays, and essays, she has drawn the attention of readers and critics alike. Her fractured relationships with her mother, father, and sister certainly seem to indicate that Connie is used to, and even accepts, the fact that she is completely responsible for her fate.
He introduces himself as Arnold Friend, the other boy as Ellie, and he shows off his car, which is painted with words, pictures, and numbers. She asks him what he wants, and he says he wants her, that after seeing her that night, he knew she was the one for him. In a profile such as this, one can recognize the basic psychological elements that comprise the character, many of which increase the desire they have for social acceptance, and in the case of Connie, she opens the door for people such as Arnold Friend to become a part of her life.
She is both horrified and fascinated by his accurate descriptions. The story, which deals with such troubling issues as sexuality, rape, and adolescence in American culture, has been the center of much feminist debate.
She is caught between her roles as a daughter, friend, sister, and object of sexual desire, uncertain of which one represents the real her: If Arnold is indeed the devil—and he may well be, on the level so perspicaciously analyzed by Joyce Wegs—he is certainly a comical one, with his wig, incompletely made-up face, stuffed boots, and stumbling gait.
She saves money, helps their parents, and receives constant praise for her maturity, whereas Connie spends her time daydreaming. Arnold refuses to leave without her. His hair appears to be a wig, he wears lifts in his boots, and his face looks as if it is caked with makeup.
Connie is practiced in acting out the stereo-type of being a pretty girl. Although Arnold has come to take Connie away, in his traditional role as evil spirit, he may not cross a threshold uninvited; he repeatedly mentions that he is not going to come in after Connie, and he never does.
Yet the fact that the story ends on such a violent note has been attributed to the changing times, both for the teenage subculture and society at large. What kind of relationship did Connie have with her parents and sister? Her parents also have little, if any, knowledge of Connie's associations and activities.
Although the story takes place in an unspecified place and time, details in the plot indicate that the setting is an American suburb sometime during the late s or early s. As a manifestation of her own desires, he frees her from the limitations of a fifteen-year-old girl, assisting her maturation by stripping her of her childlike vision.
It is unclear where the mysterious man with the gold jalopy is taking her, but it is safe to say that it is a place that Connie is destined to go due to these three issues. Cite References Print Dylan, Bob. The line between fantasy and reality is blurred by Arnold himself, who never quite falls into one category or the other.
Ina film version of the story was released entitled Smooth Talk. But, Connie "look s right through her mother, into a shadowy vision of herself as she was right at that moment: Connie and her friends typically go off with boys to sit in the cars, eat hamburgers, listen to music on the radio, and kiss.
Many songs glamorized drugs and sex. She tries to lock to door, but her fingers are shaking too much. She wore a pullover jersey blouse that looked one way when she was at home and another way when she was at home and another way when she was away from home.
She approaches the screen door and watches herself opening it, feeling as if she no longer inhabits her own body. But Connie confuses her ability to command attention from boys with her desire to actually have them pursue her in a sexual way.
Furthermore, Connie dislikes how her mother and her aunts always praise June by saying what June has done, how she helps clean the house and cook, as well as how she saves money. In the fictional case of Connie and Arnold Friend, he singles her out at a drive-in the night before.
Arnold says again that she should come outside or her family will get hurt. Based on records of homicides duringwhite females in everyare victims of murder, with a slightly lower figure for black females.
Like a normal teenager, she is slightly insecure and hopes her friends will accept her by basing their decision on appearance as well as behavior. The s also introduced actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, whose film personas promoted the female as sex object.
Arnold tells Connie that she is his lover and will give in to him and love him. Joyce Carol Oates gives a glimpse of this generation gap in the relationship between Connie and her mother: His look parallels that of music idol Elvis Presley or film star James Dean.
And, because the mother and her husband never drive Connie to the shopping center, they do not know about Connie's activities there or with whom she associates.
Her sister June, who is twenty-four, is "plain and chunky," so Connie does not like the fact that June works as a secretary at her high school.
Although by this time Oates had published many stories, she did not think of herself as a professional writer until, by chance, she came across favorable mention of one of her stories in a prestigious anthology, Best American Short Stories.Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
by Joyce Carol Oates. Home / Literature / Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Theme of Family. BACK The absence of the father also eliminates the possibility for the daughters to develop a meaningful relationship with an important male figure.
The plot of "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" hinges on the threat of sexual violence. Oates subtly develops this theme, depicting Arnold Friend as a manipulative older man who has. A summary of Themes in Joyce Carol Oates's Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? study guide contains a biography of Joyce Carol Oates, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis of the short story Where are You Going, Where Have You Been.
A humongous relationship red flag is a partner trying to isolate you from the people who have been in your life since before the relationship. There are many explanations for why they may behave. Everything you ever wanted to know about Connie's Mother in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, written by masters of this stuff just for you.Download