Allegories in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”

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Lauren Ball
English 102 Sec 06

Allegories in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?,” Joyce Oates constitutes the use of allegories to create a sense of suspense in the story. The story depicts the way society was in the 1960s. In this time period, there were a lot of controversies that cause a lot of frustration. Many stories written during the 1960s involved a lot of the same things that are in this coming-of-age story. The issues incorporated into “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” were common even in reality. The allegories in Oates’ story represent the issue of innocence and temptation, good versus evil, and man overpowering woman.

Connie seems like an innocent fifteen year old girl when Arnold Friend shows up at her house. She is easily persuaded to talk to Arnold and gives in to the temptation to go for a ride with him. Arnold says a lot of sweet things to Connie to try and make her fall for his words. He tells Connie how beautiful she is and calls her names such as “sweetheart” and “honey.” Connie, being the naïve teenager that she is, believes him. Although he scared her, she gave in to his charm and went with him.

“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is a story that represents good and evil. Connie is essentially a symbol for good while Arnold is the evil. This story seems similar to the story of “The Garden of Eden.” Arnold Friend manipulates Connie in the way that the Devil does to Eve in “The Garden of Eden.” As stated above, Arnold persuades Connie to take a ride with him by sweet talking her. He even tries to impress her by telling her that he is a part of her group of friends. He attempts to attract Connie by dressing younger and by listening to the same type of music she does. As Arnold is sweet talking Connie, he begins threatening her. Arnold tells Connie that there is nothing better for her to do than give in to him. Eventually, he starts to...
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