Professor Victoria Madden Bonillas
14th July 2014
Thesis’s of Where are you going, where have you been?
Where are you going, where have you been is about a young teen thinking she knows the rules of life when she really doesn’t. As we grow up in life we always seem to feel like we know more than our parents and that we have all the answers. The main character was Connie a young free spirited fifteen year old girl who was conceited and thought she was the prettiest girl on the planet. Her life revolved around looking at herself in the mirror, makeup, doing her hair and of course boys. She thinks she is superior to her mother, sister and even friends. Connie doesn’t like the role of daughter, sister, and “nice” girl. She breeds her sexuality, which comes out only when she is away from her home and family. She has a split personality, when she is at home in front of her mother and family the sexuality going into hiding. She makes fun of her older sister, and feels June is fat and ugly. She is in constant conflict with her family. Her concerns are as typically adolescent: listens to music, hangs out with her friends, flirts with boys, and explores her sexuality. She likes the fact that boys and even men find her attractive, although these affections are only temporary. Connie doesn’t understand that boys and even men look at the female gender as a being, something to use as for their own gratification. Connie is sexy in the particular manner of dress, walking, laughing and even when she speaks with these men strongly for example when she says to Arnold Friend what the hell are you doing here I don’t even know you. Men find this as a challenge, a challenge that they enjoy conquering.
Connie’s Mother was once an attractive lady feels somewhat as rivalry with Connie. Connie like many young teenage girls today did not get with her mother, this is pretty typical in a mother and daughter relationship. Connie’s mother would make nasty comments to Connie, and at times pick at Connie till Connie would wish she was dead. Connie's family seems "normal" in the most sense: a 1960’s family with a stay-at-home mom and a working dad, children, and family barbecues on Sundays. But it's this ordinariness that makes Oates's treatment of family life so alarming. Most of the attention is drawn to the women of the family, whose relationships are fractured by a society that sees them as little more than sexual, marriageable, domestic objects. Without any more affirmative notion of femininity, the women – sisters and mother – are at odds with one another: they at times are rivals or enemies; they can't seem to be friends. Some people may think that the absence of the father also eliminates the possibility for the daughters to develop a meaningful relationship with an important male figure. June her sister was older than Connie and was at a different point in her life than Connie. June was out of High School and working. She was a very responsible lady who worked as a secretary in the high school that Connie attended. June was always doing things her mother. Connie’s mother liked that June would clean the house, cook and even save money. One afternoon, Connie and her girlfriend decided to go to the shopping plaza. This type of outing is pretty typical for girls this age however with Connie what she said she was doing wasn’t always what she actually did. Connie again dressed so that she would draw attention to herself. Connie being a free spirit decided when the father dropped them off to the shopping plaza her and her friend went across the street to the drive- in restaurant and hung out with other friends. Connie abandoned her friend and spends three hours with a boy named Eddie in his car. Although Connie is with one boy she continues to look around for other boys as if nothing was satisfying her, always looking for something new, something exciting, something that would make her...
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