Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”

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Yolanda Williams
ENG 200-018
Spring 2012
Dr. D. Roemer

“Lost Little Girl”

Because the world is not what it seems to be, you have to be careful, especially when you are young. Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” tells us about the life of Connie who has no guidance in her life, because her family has not provided any moral support, value or respect to help through her teenage years. She only knows about popular culture and how beautiful she is but not the consequence that comes with it. Without any directions to face problems that might occur, Connie is confronted by a supernatural being named Arnold Friend. Connie is only fifteen years old and very preoccupied with her appearance. Her mother constantly nags at her for always being in front of the mirror, but Connie ignores her mother’s criticisms. “Why don’t you keep your room clean like your sister? (Quotes page 422). Her mother wants Connie to be more responsible like her older sister, June. Connie loves to spend all of her time daydreaming while June still lives at home at the age of twenty-four and works as a secretary at the High School Connie attends. June helps with their parents, saves her money and constantly receives praises from her mother. Their father is never at home because he works a lot and very seldom talks to his daughters. Connie sometimes wishes that her mother and her sister were dead. They only thing I think Connie is happy about is that June goes out with her girlfriends, and her mother allows Connie to go out as well, with her best friend. Connie’s friend’s father drives them to a shopping mall in town to drop them off and returns later to pick them up, never asking how they spent their time. They usually sneak across the highway to a drive-in restaurant and meet boys. One night, a boy named Eddie invites Connie to eat dinner with him, and Connie leaves her friend at the restaurant’s counter to go with him. While...
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