Joyce Carol Oates' 'Where Are You Going Where Have You Been?' as a Coming of Age Story

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Coming of Age: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Joyce Carol Oates's short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is the story of a fifteen-year-old girl named Connie, a pretty girl who is in the middle of a rebellious adolescence. She alienates herself from her family, preferring to spend her time with her friends at the local restaurant looking for boys. She enjoys the popular music of the day and tries to appear older and sophisticated beyond her years when away from her home. In many ways she is a typical teenager caught between adolescence and adulthood. She avoids sharing too much information with her parents for fear they will not approve of her activities and curtail her freedom. She likes to go to the shopping plaza and hang out at the drive-in across the highway. One evening, she agrees to go for a ride with a boy named Eddie. Connie notices another boy with shaggy black hair in a gold convertible looking at her. "Gonna get you, baby," (Oates, p.37) he tells her. On a Sunday, while her parents are at a picnic at her aunt's house that Connie refused to attend, the boy in the gold convertible drives to her house. He introduces himself as Arnold Friend. Despite her reservations, Arnold eventually persuades Connie to leave her house and go with him. "Now come out through the kitchen to me, honey, and let's see a smile, try it, you're a brave, sweet little girl"¦" (Oates p. 53). Though we never find out exactly who or what Arnold is, he is the
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