Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Response Paper

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Where are you Going, Where have you been? Is a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates. The story involves a 15 year old girl named Connie that is rebelling against her mother’s whishes. Connie often rides with her friends to a shopping plaza to hang out and meet other people. One evening while she is out with her friends she leaves with a boy named Eddie. On the way to Eddie’s car she sees a stranger in a convertible that tells her “Gonna get you, baby”. Then one Sunday after missing church Connie’s family leaves her alone at the house to go to a barbecue at her aunt’s house. While they are gone the stranger in the convertible, whose name is Arnold Friend, pulls up in her driveway and tries to talk Connie into leaving the house and going with him and his friend out. Connie resists for a while until Friend begins to threaten her family. In the end Connie ends up going with Friend and the story ends.

Many people believe that Arnold Friend is a predator seeking out a new victim. Even the numbers painted on the side of his car are references to another murderer named Charles Schmid that murdered three people in Tucson, Arizona. I don’t believe that is who Joyce Carol Oates is trying to portray Arnold Friend as. I believe that Arnold Friend is supposed to represent the devil that has come to tempt her. Connie’s family skips church and sleeps in on Sunday. On that day Arnold Friend makes a comment “This is your day set aside for a ride with me and you know it,". Arnold also knows too much. In this passage Arnold makes references to multiple things that he shouldn’t know. "But I know what it is. I know your name and all about you, lots of things," Arnold Friend said. He had not moved yet but stood still leaning back against the side of his jalopy. "I took a special interest in you, such a pretty girl, and found out all about you—like I know your parents and sister are gone somewheres and I know where and how long they're going to be gone, and I know who you were...
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