Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

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Psycho, Demon, Dreams, Oh My! “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates is a short story about a 15-year old girl named Connie that falls in the trap of Arnold Friend. There are many interpretations to this short story, and many arguments have fought back and forth to find out the true inside meaning to find out what the reason was for Joyce Carol Oates to write this story. There are hundreds of analyses for this story out there, but I am going to just be talking about three; “Existential Allegory” by Marie Urbanski, “A Psychoanalysis of Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Cameron Lee, and my personal interpretation of this short story. My interpretation of the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is that the Arnold Friend situation was just a dream. The main point that led me to believe that she was in a dream was whenever the narrator says, “and when she opened her eyes she hardly knew where she was…She shook her head as if to get awake”; this part happened right after the narrator also described that Connie was sitting in the sun and closed her eyes. Further more into the dream Arnold Friend comes, which is when things take a turn for the worst. Now, considering that Connie was not a well-behaved young woman, outside of her house, it would be very logical to say that the dream was just a warning to scare Connie a bit. As the narrator explains in the beginning of the story, Connie was not going down the right path.
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