Fantasy Vs. Reality Where are you going, Where have you been Essay

1205 WordsNov 12, 20135 Pages
Fantasy versus Reality in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates has a constant theme of reality and fantasy running parallel for 15 year old Connie. This short story begins with a description of Connie’s vain personality. The narrator describes her as pretty and self-centered (Oates 421). To emphasize her selfishness, Connie is contrasted with her sister, June, who is chubby, plain, and well-behaved. Connie’s mother always praises June for her work ethic and help around the house, but says Connie can’t do anything due to “trashy daydreams”. There isn’t much of a father figure in Connie’s life due to her father being away for work most of the time and detached when…show more content…
She tries to relate to sex through popular music that romanticizes relationships and life. The short reveals how it affects Connie when she is listening to a popular radio station, “…bathed in a glow of slow-pulsed joy that seemed to rise mysteriously out of the music itself and lay languidly about the airless little room” (Oates 424). Additionally, Connie felt her date with Eddie was similar to “the way it was in movies and promised in songs”(Oates 424). She felt she was living the dream and was beginning to relate to this sexualized, romantic media. In Marie Mitchell and Olesen Urbanski’s literary review of the story, they state “the recurring music then, while ostensibly innocuous realistic detail, is in fact, the vehicle of Connie's seduction and because of its intangibility, not immediately recognizable as such” (1). However, Arnold Friend was quick to remind her of her young age and innocence at the end of the story. When Connie first hears a car pulling up in her driveway, her attention is immediately directed to her hair and looks. She isn’t concerned as much about who is outside or what they want, but how see will look to them. When she initially sees Arnold she is attracted to his style and car. He is muscular in tight faded jeans and a drives a bright gold jalopy. His image is everything that Connie has fantasized about and can relate to. Arnold is even playing

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