Joyce Carol Oates' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

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Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Every person comes face to face at some point in life with vital decisions. Some of the decisions are minor ones, while others can bring turning points in life. In Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?' she displays a particular instant in the main character's life. This character, Connie was caught in the difficult transition from her youth and innocence to a doubtful future. Throughout the story Connie alternates between two very different sides of her personality, one side where she is innocent and young, and the other where she is mature. Understanding the magnitude of Connie's character and her interaction with others is key to comprehending…show more content…
Connie managed to escape from reality through music and boys. Consequently, when Arnold Friend shows up at Connie?s house after her parents have left, she is neither happy nor mad that he is there. She was not sure what to make of it. Perhaps if Connie had been as mature as she played herself off as she may have been able to handle the situation Arnold put her in better. That Sunday when Arnold stopped by Connie was wearing bright green, which usually symbolizes youth and fertility. However as the encounter with Arnold progresses she began to sweat which darkened the shirt. Dark color suggest evil, and the darkening of the shirt as the visit grew more intense shows how Connie finally began too realize that her meddling between the worlds of adulthood and adolescence had come to a paralyzing stop. This was when Connie finally realized how evil the world could be. One explanation for Connie?s behavior is her relationship with her father. There is barely any mention of him throughout the story. The narrator comments, ?Their father was at work most of the time, and when he came home he wanted supper, and he read the newspaper at supper, and after supper he went to bed. He didn?t bother talking to them much??(153). This explains Connie?s constant need to feel wanted from men and her yearning for affection. She gets none at home; her father won?t even look at her. If Connie?s father showed he
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