Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

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Hugo Trochez
27 January 2013
Persuasive Essay 1
English 102

The Final Answer: The interpretation of Joyce Carol Oats “Where Are You Going, Where You Have You Been?”

Joyce Carol Oats publishes the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” in the late sixties. The story leaves the reader thinking what the final outcome to the plot was. Revealing several explanations all leading to a negative outcome, Joyce leaves the reader pondering what the final outcome to the story is. In my opinion Joyce wrote this story with this purpose to leave the reader himself to answer what happens in the end of the story.

The story revolves around a young girl named Connie. Connie is a fifteen year old girl who considers the world to be a happy place. In this stage, Connie is focused on how she looks; making sure the everyone else knows how pretty she was. Joyce makes the reader aware that the world revolves around Connie. Oats mentions how much Connie felt that the she was basically the main girl by stating, “Connie thought that her mother preferred her to June [Connie’s older sister] just because she was prettier.” 1

As we read into the story, we see Connie as a teenager who lives real life as a fantasy dream. She has two personas, one at home and one when she is out. Her only focus is boys and being in love. She tries to appear older and wiser than what she really is and her head is filled with daydreams and popular music related to romance and love. As Oats would call it “shrieking songs she [Connie] sang along with”. (pg.2) What she is not aware of that her fantasy world is going to be destroyed by one guy who drops Connie from cloud nine all the way down to the center of the world, giving her a true meaning of reality check. When Arnold Friend arrives at Connie’s house, she must confront the realities of adulthood. Giving Connie a confused thought between reality and her fantasy land.

As more and more we read, we reach the climax of the story where...
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