Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ashpenn
Words 1059
Pages 5
How many young girls do you know who have had their innocence taken from them? A fifteen year old girl named Connie is forced to grow up entirely too fast by a man named Arnold Friend. Without meaning any harm, she flaunts herself around town acting like a mature woman, showing the world she thinks she ready to grow up. Joyce Carol Oates’s short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” illustrates how evil and manipulative one man is to a not so innocent Connie. Although Connie thinks she wants her independence as a woman, Arnold Friend, who is not who he seems to be, destroys her youthful innocence and introduces her to a world of evil.
Connie begins to find independence in her appearance. She is constantly admiring herself in the mirror and being scolded for it by her mother. She tries to make herself sexually attractive in search of her own independence (SparkNotes Web). Connie goes out with her friends and flaunts her beauty and body, making herself look interested in older men; she thinks she is doing no harm when she is flirting. Like most teenagers, Connie wants to express her independence by going places alone with her friends. Being only fifteen, she is not able to drive, so she is dependent on the older people in her life. Connie is resentful of not having her full independence, but her family and friends constitute as the only life she knows. While Connie believes she is only making herself look older in order to appear beautiful, she is actually luring an older man who can quite possibly destroy her. As Connie enjoys her independence as a ‘woman’, she sees an unfamiliar boy staring at her. While sitting in the car, Connie slits her eyes at him and turns away; but he was still staring at her (Celestial Web). He laughs, “Gonna get you baby” (Celestial Web). Connie thinks nothing of the eerie comment and continues with her flirting. The next day…...

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