Deadly Doubt: Symbolism and Forshadowing in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

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Samantha McLaughlin
Mr. Mosmeyer
AP English III
10-21-09

Deadly Doubt:
Symbolism, Tone and foreshadowing in “Where are you going, Where Have you been?”

A little girl sits home alone, relaxed in every way. She doesn’t know the danger she put herself in. It’s sunny. It’s bright, but out of the sunshine comes something clever and dark, A. Friend.

When Connie meets Arnold Friend he is a stranger, but ironically his name is name spells a friend. I think this symbolism rests in the glaring reality of true abductions and who the perpetrator usually is. Someone they know, someone close. Another frightening symbolism is the Pettinger girl. Something happened to her and we never find out what, but the reader knows that Connie lied to her mother about association with the girl, a girl Arnold mentions. These creepy connections to the real world of abductions give us that panic like message of the everyday reality of abductions and murder.

When a reader finishes this story they are left with a heavy fog of fear and pressure of the weight of the story. This frightening tone that grips the reader is present through out the story, starting with the very first sentence of “her name was Connie.” Although you are left with a little comic relief, the story keeps you entranced in the ill fate of this girl. This sick feeling inside that the story gives you makes you think about your actions and take an extra moment to lock the door. I think this fear inspiring story is intended to make you think, protect you from the making Connie’s mistakes.

The Reader knows from the very first sentence Connie is dead. The eerie use of past tense gives a quite effective start to a dark foreshadowing. It makes the reader wonder how and why, making a dramatic point at the same time. Connie’s actions directly resulted in her demise.

When we look at the symbolism, tone and foreshadowing we come to the same conclusion. Scary things happen in our world, so do something about it....
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