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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

I chose Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been to do my essay on. This short story was written by Joyce Carol Oates in 1966. She dedicated this story to Bob Dylan because of a movie that he wrote. She also notes that Dylan himself was just like Arnold in every way (Oates J. C., 2010). If you research this book and Bob Dylan's life, you will see that most of this story is about Dylan in general.

As an effort to find independence, Connie had arguments with her mother and sister and made herself look attractive. The grownups in her life were there for punishment, nourishment, and to support a life with friends. Connie's friends' father drove her to and from the shopping mall. Connie argues with her family on a constant basis, but this is all that she knows. Connie has always been safe in her romantic experimentation (Oates J. C., 1966). The only problem with this is that Arnold came alone to change that. Arnold treats her like an adult woman. He made her see that childhood was not a bad place, but that would be something that she would ever know again. The end of the story signals the end of life for Connie.

This story takes place mainly on an old country property. It is the late 50's where drive-ins were popular. While much of the time Connie was in her house at the front door, it gave the appearance of that she was in the boondocks with her closest neighbor being miles away. From her words, you have the picture that she is looking across a field full of flowers from her screen door. While Connie was talking to Arnold, you know that it is around noon because she didn't wake up until eleven and she still had to wash her hair and let it dry in the sun (Oates J. C., 2010). With this note, you know that it is during the summer because of the hot days.

This story is full of characters. The main character is Connie. She is a protagonist that is rebelling against her mom and sister. She is a fifteen year old girl who tries to look more mature than she really is. She does not participate in family activities because she prefers to hang out with her friends while looking for boys. Connie has all of these daydreams and listens to romantic music because of her romantic thoughts. Although Connie had these beliefs about romance, she learned the hard way that there was a big difference between fantasy and reality. Another character is Arnold Friend. Arnold is the antagonist of this story. He is a dangerous individual that has some appearance problems. He looks like he wears a wig and his skin is white as death. He has some feet problems that make it seem like he is the devil. Arnold starts out acting all innocent but after some time, he shows his real personality. He gives the appearance of being young while actually being old. He is a slick talking man who eventually talks Connie



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