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

Decent Essays

Throughout the short story, “Where are you going, where have you been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, the most intriguing character was Connie. Oates portrays Connie’s sense of space as gradually diminishing by Arnold Friend as the story progresses. Arnold starts taking Connie’s least sense of space by threatening her family’s safety in return for Connie to go with him. Arnold continues to take more of her sense of space by giving her the indication that he’ll invade her house if she doesn’t put down the phone. Lastly, Arnold takes the most of Connie’s space when she starts becoming lost and disoriented within her own head. The progression of events that leads to more and more of Connie’s space getting taken away is put into a sequence that shows the importance of those specific events. Arnold takes the least amount of Connie’s space by threatening the harm of her family. That day, Connie’s family goes to a barbeque that Connie stays home from. After her family left, Arnold and his friend show up to her house. Connie realizes that Arnold isn’t who he claims to be and runs inside the house. Connie threatens to call her parents and says that her father will be back anytime though Arnold knows the truth. He says, “... You come out here… nobody else gets hurt, I mean, your nice old bald-headed daddy and your mummy and your sister in her high heels. Because listen: why bring them into this?” (Oates 1099). Arnold reassured Connie that if they came back, he would have no choice but to

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