Joyce Carol Oates was born in 1938 in Lockport, New York. She started writing very young and that the age of fifteen she submitted her first novel, but it was rejected for being “too dark”. This style of writing is common on many of her works including “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Oates graduated from Syracuse University and then went on to get her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. Oates “turned much often in her writing to everyday characters, which she often placed in situations that were both psychologically and socially terrifying.” (Short Stories For Students 258) Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? is based on a killer in the southwest names Charles “Smitty” Schmid was charged of rape and murder of three young girls in the fall of 1965 in Tucson, Arizona. “Oates wrote the story after hearing Dylan’s song “Its All Over Now, Baby Blue” Oates also has dedicated the story to Dylan which has brought about a fair amount of mystery and speculation. (Joyce Carol Oates, Raines)
Connie, a fifteen year old girl who likes to go off and have fun with her friends, meet and dream about boys and the idea of a perfect life and relationship is the main target of a clever malicious stalker, a man who intends to kidnap, rape and murder her. “She (Connie) is caught between her roles as a daughter, friend, sister, and object of sexual desire uncertain of which one represents the real her.” (Short Stories For Students 259) Creighton writes “Oates captures so well the viciousness, cheapness and narcissism of life for Connie and her friends who have nothing better to do than to stroll up and down a shopping center plaza looking for excitement.” Connie is blind to the real world which surrounds her and ironically enough, it leads to her death. She opens up herself too much to life and... [continues]
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