Free

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been - Essay Example

Comments (1) Cite this document
Summary
The short story written by Joyce Carol Oates is a literary discourse that focused on the main character, Connie, a fifteen year old girl who apparently exuded physical characteristics that differed from those exhibited by members of her family…
Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER98.5% of users find it useful
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"

June 4, Literary Analysis: “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” The short story en d “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” written by Joyce Carol Oates is a literary discourse that focused on the main character, Connie, a fifteen year old girl who apparently exuded physical characteristics and traits that differed from those exhibited by members of her family. As the protagonist, Connie symbolized a perfect epitome of traditional adolescent in free spirited behavior for preferences in spending time with peers and exploring endeavors that are fun, innovative, and fad in their time. Likewise, at the onset, her demeanor of self-interest and apparent obsession to her looks evidently confirmed traits normally exhibited by teenagers. The current discourse hereby aims to present an analysis of this literary work in terms of the symbolisms used; as well as in displaying literary elements that focus on allegory. Aside from Connie symbolizing the embodiment of a typical adolescent, she was also noted to have a keen and innate attraction to music, which lured her to various places and eventually enticed her to make a decision that seemed to be antithetical to the expected norm. Music, therefore, is another symbol for a reverberating and persistently consuming medium that influences teenagers to share a common and unifying bond. As asserted, “music is everywhere in this story, blaring out of radios in restaurants, cars, and homes. It's so omnipresent, in fact, that it seems to have worked its way into the very way characters think, act, and feel” (Oates: Music 1). Despite Connie’s initial reaction that recognizes alleged maturity in taking precautions regarding talking to strangers, through sharing similarities in music, she was led into exhibiting irresponsible confidence to Arnold Friend. This was corroborated by Mitchell and Urbanski who contended that “the recurring music then, while ostensibly innocuous realistic detail, is in fact, the vehicle of Connie's seduction and because of its intangibility, not immediately recognizable as such” (1). Music was therefore an image of both sharing inspirational bond between teen-agers; yet, serving as a vehicle to unsuspectingly trust an obviously devious stranger. The author likewise used other symbols through the story, such as the car and the home, to represent power and mobility (car), as well as refuge and security (home). The use of the car being driven by Friend signified assuming an authoritative stance over Connie. It was revealed that “cars are a form of mobility, freedom, and empowerment in the story that women don't get to enjoy” (Oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?: Cars 1). Friend used the car initially, as an enticing tool to attract the attention of Connie and to serve as the vehicle to invite her out from her reclusive home. As such, Connie’s home initially symbolized her medium of protection; a haven for safety. Especially when Friend was on the verge of approaching Connie, who seemed to have confirmed and sensed some form of danger from Friend’s persistent sexual intent, her home served as the barrier or boundary that kept Friend from reaching out to force her into submission. Accordingly, “in the story, a careful orchestration of scenes through windows, on thresholds, in doorways, against walls, builds up to Connie's final step into the beyond at the end of the story” (Oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?: The Home 1). Only when Connie finally and voluntarily acknowledged submission did she decide to step beyond the safety of her home to affirm the decision to go to a place or an experience that would change her life forever. The story was also evidently replete with allegory, as a literary element. As disclosed, “the major characters represent two distinct personifications in the dual levels of the allegory. It is apparent that Friend represents the devil who tempts the chaste yet morally vacuous girl-victim” (Mitchell and Urbanski 3). Despite’s Connie’s exhibiting typical adolescent traits of being curious, adventurous, and explorative through the fun activities and friends that she was willing to go with; Connie was obviously still a virgin, as evidenced from her initial reaction of disgust and dismay for having heard an ostentatious remark from Friend, to wit: “She put her hands up against her ears as if she'd heard something terrible, something not meant for her” (Oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been 6). On the contrary, Friend was obviously intent on his invitation to lure Connie into sexual submission as he persistent in using diverse techniques, ranging from using music, soft and convincing arguments, and even threats that aptly personify him as the devil. Likewise, his apparent all-knowing stance of having apparently known Connie’s family members, their whereabouts, her interests and friends, as well as her neighbor, also confirmed a demonic presence and character to Friend’s demeanor that finally led Connie to succumb to his desires. Works Cited Mitchell, Marie and Olesen Urbanski. "Existential Allegory: Joyce Carol Oates 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'." 2007. csun.edu. http://www.csun.edu/loverman/355/urbanski.pdf. 18 November 2013. Oates, Joyce Carol. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been." 1966. d.umn.edu. http://www.d.umn.edu/~csigler/PDF%20files/oates_going.pdf. 18 November 2013. —. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" 2013. Shmoop University, Inc. http://www.shmoop.com/where-you-going-where-you-been/music-symbol.html. 18 November 2013. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/literature/1492113-where-are-you-going-where-have-you-been
(Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
https://studentshare.org/literature/1492113-where-are-you-going-where-have-you-been.
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/literature/1492113-where-are-you-going-where-have-you-been.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (1)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
ez
ezekielgislason added comment 1 year ago
Student rated this paper as
This document saved me today. I liked the structure. It was very useful for my literature course.

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

...?Running Head: Where are you going and where have you been? Where are you going and where have you been? s name] [Date] Where are you going and where have you been? 1. What is the family dynamic of Connie's family (the inter-relationships and status of family members)?  Connie’s family include her older sister June, her mother and father. Her sister was a responsible and mature 24 year...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

...?“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” In Joyce Carol Oates’ horrific coming-of-age story, Connie finds herself balanced precariously on the thin, confusing line between childhood and adulthood. She spends the first half of the story strutting around with a faux adult persona. She defies her parents, lies, and talks down to her mother. She also sneaks around and flirts with older boys whom she may or may not know. Connie is aware of dressing, looking, and acting differently in places other than her own home, acknowledging the stark contrast of the two people she tends to be and making it known that there is a reason...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates

...? Literary Analysis: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Introduction A great interest of the contemporaries to the short story by Joyce Carol Oates "Where are you going, where have you been" can be explained by the author’s positioning of Arnold Friend as an imaginative figure representing either a lover, a nightmare, a devil, a dream or other possible images. What is so special about this character and who he really is? The character is so bizarre that the author cannot properly identify him...
5 Pages(1250 words)Research Paper

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Beenvs. Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta

...of the of the English 1302 Essay Assignment Submitted “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”vs. "Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta" Introduction The short story is a genre that you don’t often see discussed in mainstream literature. In fact few really good short story writers exist, if at all. We seldom see talent of the calibre of Stephen Crane, Somerset Maugham, O’Henry, Edgar Allan Poe and Raymond Carver. This makes it all the more wonderful to read a really good and compelling short story, and these short masterpieces by Joyce Carol Oates and Kate Braverman prove that the craft is still alive and...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

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

...College Joyce Carol Oates “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Analysis Oates Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? is astory that narrates of psychological effects of feeling rejected involving the character Connie. The story is a narration of the way one may act in a weird behavior with such actions justified by the mental conflict that such a character has undergone in their lives. Connie portrays a reaction of internal conflict; as 15 years old girl, Connie has a “quick, nervous giggling...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Where Are You Going Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates

... WHERE ARE YOU GOING WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN The focal point of the paper is to present an analysis and evaluation of the short story by Joyce Carol Oates named Where Are You Going Where Have You Been This story was first published in the Fall issue of Epoch magazine in 1966. It was highly acclaimed in its time and was a part of the The Best American Short Stories in 1967 and the O Henry Award Winners in 1968. This story narrates the sexual advances in the midst of a time that represents the idea and philosophy of the beat culture along with its attempt to change and ignore all traditional concepts. However, what comes out of the story is the lust of Arnold and the opportunity to blend the nihilist ideology of the era into personal... in social,...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been Yellow Wall-Paper short stories

...Order 625077 Topic: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Yellow Wall-Paper short stories How do you feel about Connie as a character...? Connie as a character is simply amazing. At the age of fifteen her rebellious nature, especially against traditional sexual beliefs is appreciable and understandable. That’s her style to enjoy life and exercise freedom of disposition with the boys of her age. Elaborating this young personality Joyce Carol Oates writes, “Her laugh which was cynical and drawing at home….Ha, ha, very funny…but high-pitched and nervous anywhere else, like the jingling of the charms...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

...Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been The story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” focuses is written by the author Joyce Carol Oates and focuses on a story which describes a gal who is overwhelmed by her beauty. The author of the story, Joyce Carol Oates begins narrating the story by describing the beautiful girl Connie who was exceptionally beautiful (Oates 1). Through the numerous paragraphs in the beginning of the story, the author informs the reader of the immense beauty of Connie. The...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Where are you going, where have you been joyce carol oates

...“Where are you going where have you been” Joyce carol Oates “Where are you going where have you been” is a story written by Joyce Oates in the 1960s. The story is about an older man whose intention is to hurt teenage girls. The teenage girl Connie was raised in a decent family. However, he ended up having a miserable life after fighting for freedom. The girl is obsessed with her looks and popular culture which landed her into problems (Oates 17). She makes fun of older people and...
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper

Where are you Going, Where Have You Been

... in third-person narrative. If the first-person narrator was used, all the unexplainable details could be definitely attributed to Connie’s impetuous imagination. To leave the end of the story open always means to intrigue readers and give them food for thought. The story perfectly illustrates this. Readers will never find out what happened to Connie and who or what Arnold Friend was. This meeting would certainly change the girl and her attitude to life, in case it came off well. Works Cited Joyce Carol Oates. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? CelestialTimepiece. Web. January 21, 2015.... Is Arnold Friend a Dream or Reality? and Number Paper Due Is Arnold Friend a Dream or Reality? The storycreates quite an ambiguous impression, and ...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been for FREE!

Contact Us