Thesis: In the short story “Where have you been, Where are you going?” Joyce Carol Oates describes , the main character Connie to be a rebellious teenager, she loses her childhood innocence when she gives up her virginity to Arnold Friend. Annotated bibliography
Connie is portrayed to be lacking in self esteem and has feelings of worthlessness which is why she makes the decision, possibly fatal, like befriending Arnold friend. Johnson, Greg. Understanding Joyce Carol Oates, 1987:
101-02Johnson “interprets the story as a feminist allegory (221)”. He describes Connie as being empty inside and heading towards the same fate most women face, “sexual bondage (221)”. His interpretation is bias in the way he insinuates that most women especially teenagers feel the need to give away their lives to men. Urbanski, Marie Mitchell Olesen. “Existential Allegory.” “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Ed. Elaine Showalter. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1994. 75-79. To gain a better profile of Connie, one must understand the interactions she has with the members of her family, the involvement she has with other people, the interesting places she finds the most enjoyable, and the influences she experiences form certain events that have an effect on her behavior. As a result of this Connie I believe lets Arnold Friend have his way with her. She does not have a good relationship with her family, especially her mother, the two of them are constantly said to be arguing.
Children especially teenagers are the easiest target for danger and society’s evil doings. Connie I feel let her arrogance and ignorance get the best of her. However she does seem to try to get away from it all by distracting herself by hinging out and talking to her friends, and listening to music.
Friend’s character is almost fictional in my eyes. He can be a symbol for all the bad in the world, perhaps like a pedophile waiting to job a innocent, naïve girl of her innocence.
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