“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates is a maturation story illustrating a loss of innocence through the main character, Connie, whose rebellious choices propel her toward the dangers of the adult world Connie is a naive fifteen year old girl who thought being attractive was the most important thing. She doesn’t look past her appearance and the opposite sex. (Oates) “She had a quick nervous giggling habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people’s faces to make sure her own was right” (Oates).
Connie thought looking mature and would be the way out. Oates says, “She knew she was pretty and that was her life. ” Connie isn’t like any of her friends or the type of girl you would encounter day to day. Connie is in search for independence from her family; but as a young teen she needs the adults who are in her day to day life. Her friend’s father, for example, has to play chauffeur and drive Betty and Connie to local places. She is certainly vain, always at ends with her mother. She often wishes her mother was dead.
Connie views her life as something so miserable, most of the time she spends at home; she is in la-la land. Her mother constantly depicts her, always requesting for her to be more like her sister, the responsible one. “Why don’t you keep your room clean like your sister? How’ve you got your hair fixed,what the hell stinks? Hair spray? You don’t see your sister using that junk. ” With her mother constantly stating things that would make June as the better of the two daughters, a great deal of hatred develops between Connie and her mother (Oates).
When I was first asked to give a talk on mothers, since it would be mother’s day. I started wondering how Mother’s Day came to be. I was surprised to discover that Mother’s Day has a history longer than Christianity! Ancients celebrated Isis (Mother of the Pharaohs), Rhea (Greek Mother of the Gods), and Cybele (The Great Mother). The worship of these ancient goddesses is similar to the reverence ...
Connie has a misconstrue notion on what it is like to be an adult. Her desperation to be much older or look older is Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. ” “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home”(Oates).
When Connie would leave her house she changed the way she would walk, talk, smile, act, look, etc. It was Metamorphoses as soon as she walked out into the world. The innocence of this child is being hidden; the young attractive woman emerges from the darkness.
Connie is convinced this is the life she really wants until the day realization hit her right in her front door. Her lack of knowledge also allows her to distance herself from her family. Because her family do not share the same shallow value of Connie, it is hard to find any kind of common ground. When her family goes to barbeque she decides not to join them. “She wasn’t interested, rolling her eyes to let her mother know what she thought of it. ” (Oates).
Connie, whose rebellious choices propel her toward the dangers of the adult world.
Connie’s quest for independence came to a horrifying outcome. Music plays a major role in Connie’s decision making process; it would stimulate her in such a way where it created fantasies in her mind. It makes her more at peace, content, beautiful, romantic, several of things. When Arnold speaks to Connie, she compares it to a singsong to her ears. She is interested in hearing him out. It is not shocking that when Arnold Friend pulls up to Connie’s house, she’s intrigued. Right outside was someone of the opposite sex, with a nice shiny car, encouraging her need for recognition.
At fifteen, Connie’s doesn’t think the way an adult would. “More highly evolved brains are capable of discerning with far more precision the subtle environmental differences relevant to survival” (Simon).
A lot of teens act on impulsive actions. Connie did not think twice when she saw Arnold for the first time in the restaurant parking lot saying, “Gonna get you, baby,” (Oates).
She did not think about the danger of going outside to meet Arnold, a rebellious choice I would certainly say.
Connie's Decision Nobody really knows what the future holds. We all live day by day wondering what God's will is for our lives. Yet we carry on and make decisions that may or may not shape what our lives turn out to be. In Joyce Carol Oates's "Where are you going, Where have you been? ," we meet Connie, a fifteen year old beautiful girl. Connie like most teenagers is a little boy crazy and at ...
When she started to feel uncomfortable and uneasy, finally in her mid she was at risk. Her naive self, insecurity, and lack of experience, easy persuasion, put her in a dangerous place. She becomes easily persuades and starts to listen. Due to the fact Arnold is much older and manipulative, Connie is being controlled she has no authority and feel like there is no way out, so she gives in Again there are a lot of factors that go into decision making. Those factors are totally different when discussing adolescents.
The brain is not fully developed, emotions are unstable, and there is a desire to act on impulse, amongst a number of other different aspects. Unfortunately, in Oates’ “Where Are you Going, Where Have You Been? ” the naive teen falls into that trap of her own vulnerability and lack of experience: “She put out her hand against the screen. She watched herself push the door slowly open as if she were back safe somewhere in the other doorway, watching this body and this head of long hair moving out into the unlight where Arnold Friend waited” (Oates).
Connie loses control over her and experiences what almost seems like an out-of-body experience. She falls victim, she made a decision off her emotions. However, considering she does not have control over the situation, did the decision Connie make her own decision or did Arnold make it for her, by leaving her helpless. I believe the answer lies here. Arnold words to Connie. “The place where you came from ain’t there anymore, and where you had in mind to go is cancelled out.