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Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

1059 words - 5 pages

How many young girls do you know who have had their innocence taken from them? A fifteen year old girl named Connie is forced to grow up entirely too fast by a man named Arnold Friend. Without meaning any harm, she flaunts herself around town acting like a mature woman, showing the world she thinks she ready to grow up. Joyce Carol Oates’s short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” illustrates how evil and manipulative one man is to a not so innocent Connie. Although Connie thinks she wants her independence as a woman, Arnold Friend, who is not who he seems to be, destroys her youthful innocence and introduces her to a world of evil.
Connie begins to find independence in her ...view middle of the document...

“Connie sat with her eyes closed in the sun, dreaming and dazed with the warmth about her as if this were a kind of love, the caresses of love, and her mind slipped over onto thoughts of the boy she had been with the night before and how nice he had been, how sweet it always was… sweet, gentle, the way it was in movies and promised in songs…” (Celestial Web). Hormones are Connie’s weakest trait; without them her fate would not go down the dark path it eventually takes. Friend sees Connie experimenting with another boy, and this is where he begins to imagine Connie in a sexual manner.
Evil follows Arnold Friend every time Connie comes in contact with him. While at the diner where she and her friends meet boys, flies surround the restaurant where Arnold is. Flies are a representation of evil and disgust. Arnold Friend disguises himself as a young boy when Connie first sees him. He is attractive, charming, and presents himself as if he is her age. He drives a flashy car with slogans that Connie is familiar with. Friend is deceiving Connie with his appearance, personality, and vehicle to convince her that he is safe enough to take her for a drive. The slogans on his car are old, in Connie’s opinion; none of the kids her age say them anymore. Oates is showing the reader that Friend might have lured other young girls to ride with him in the past when the slogan was still ‘cool’. Even though Friend may present himself as a charming young boy, he is an evil deceiving man who eventually ruins Connie’s childhood and the rest of her life.
Connie begins to realize the affect she could have had on Arnold Friend when he sees her out with another boy. “Now she remembered him even better, back at the restaurant and her cheeks warmed at the thought of how she had sucked in her breath just as she passed him – how must she have looked to him” (Celestial Web). Connie pretends to be an experienced sexy woman, and to Arnold Friend that...

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