Where Are You Going

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Oates uses music as Connie’s bridge from the real world into her fantasy world. Throughout the story Oates shows the importance of music in Connie’s life. Connie often listens to music and daydreams about boys. All of her ideas about boys come from the music she listens to. Connie thinks about one of the boys she went out with and feels as though the kind of love they had was the way it is promised in music (Oates 293). The songs she listens to give her everything she knows about romance. When Connie and her girl friend go out for the night Connie meets a boy named Eddie. During her hangout with Eddie, Oates writes that “…her face was gleaming with a joy that had nothing to do with Eddie or even this place; it might have been the music” (Oates 292). Music takes Connie to her happy place. When her girl friend’s father came back to pick them up that night she looked back at the dark empty plaza and Oates makes note that Connie couldn’t hear the music that was playing anymore (Oates 292). This shows how music is related to Connie’s fantasy world. When she is headed back into reality she can no longer hear the music. Later in the story after Connie’s family leaves home and she is there alone she turns on the radio and listens closely as she is “…bathed in a glow of slow-pulsed joy that seemed to rise mysteriously out of the music itself and lay languidly about the airless little room…” (Oates 293). Then she heard a car outside her house that happened to be Albert Friend, who she did not know. She saw him the night that she spent time with Eddie but they never spoke to one another. At first she found it odd that he was at her house and told him to leave. After a little while she noticed that Albert and his friend that rode with him were listening to the same radio station that Connie was just listening to in her room. This music calmed her down some (Oates 294). Music allows Connie to imagine the fantasy world she has created for herself.

Oates uses Connie’s...
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