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Oates revealed that a story she read in the Life magazine served as the main inspiration for her to write the short story. From the Life magazine, Oates became familiar with the increasing vulnerability of American adolescents in the hands of individuals who took advantage of their lack of experience. For this reason, Oates recreated the story in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. In the Oates story, she introduced Connie and Arnold Friend, who would take advantage of the innocent girl (Caldwell 316). A close analysis of Connie’s life reveals that she was only beginning to gain self-awareness at the tender age of 15. As common with many adolescents, Connie has a bumpy relationship with her mother (Caldwell 3). Worth noting is the fact that Connie’s mother had recognized Connie’s curiosity to explore the world. However, she did not give her the relevant warnings that would serve as guidelines in her life. Connie exhibited two different lifestyles. While at home, Connie played the role of an innocent and naïve girl. However, when Connie went to the shopping mall, she behaved like an excited teenager ready to seek attention from boys.
A close analysis of Connie’s attitudes reveals that the emotional and physical changes that take place during adolescents had taken a toll on her. She craved for attention and love from the boys. Unfortunately, Connie was unable to handle such attention as the film Smooth Talk illustrates. During one of Connie’s visits to the shopping mall, she spotted a peculiar boy, who eventually turned out to be Arnold Friend. The peculiarity with Arnold Friend is that he is much older, but deceives girls by faking a younger age. Since Connie craves for attention from boys, she becomes highly predisposed for Arnold Friend’s tactics (Caldwell 6).
As both the film and short story highlight, Connie’s thoughts have focused
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