"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"
The story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been", by Joyce Carol Oates, has been discussed by many critics who try to interpret the story the way the author intended. In Larry Rubin's article, "Oates's 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been'," he states that the story is "Connie's scary encounter with Arnold as a dream-vision or "daymare" - one in which Connie's intense desire for total sexual experience runs headlong into her innate fear of such experience" (58). On the other hand, Tom Quirk's article "A Source for 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'" talks about how the story is really trying to "suggest how her theme of death of the American Dream may have been prompted by these magazines" being the Life, Time and Newsweek articles about Charles Schmid (413). One other argument about this story came from Christina Marsden Gillis' article "'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?': Seduction, Space, and a Fictional Mode," where it was stated that the story is "about endings: the end of childhood, the end of innocence. The account of fifteen-year-old Connie's encounter with a mysterious stranger named Arnold Friend, a man who leads his victim not to a promising new world, but, rather, to a violent sexual assault, is a tale of initiation depicted in grotesque relief" (65).
Nevertheless, none of the articles talk about the minor characters in detail that helped to show how this story was about the lose of innocence or the American Dream or anything else. One article that did mention some information about the minor characters is the article "When Characters from the Page Are Made Flesh on the Screen" by Oates herself. The minor characters helped to display the main character, Connie's, development. However, when comparing the book to the movie, Smooth Talk, those minor characters took on some changes. Though some of the changes are small and some are completely different from what their character is like in the book, those changes in the end play a big part on how the audience felt towards Connie. Three of those characters that seem to make the biggest impact on how Connie's character was portrayed were Eddie, her mother, and her father.
In the story, Connie crosses the highway to visit a drive-in restaurant. While there, see is introduced to a boy named Eddie. From a reader's first impressions, one may think of Eddie as guy whole has confidence in himself. His actions on the stool give the reader a since that he knows he is cool, stating that "he sat back on his stool, turning himself jerkily around in semi-circles and then stopping and turning again" (Oates, "Where" 28). Later on, the reader is informed of how Connie spent three hours in an ally with him, making Connie look to be a little overly comfortable around boys and is has no problem with it. However, in the movie, two boys display Eddie's character, one whose name is Eddie. The first boy seems to be more like the Eddie in the story. He states the same lines like, "she wouldn't be alone for long" and if she "would like to get something to eat" (Oates, "Where" 28). However, this date ends up with them looking at the stars in his car and kissing for a while, which is totally different from how it ended in the story. This leads the audience to associate the next boy who meets Connie in the restaurant on another night to also be Eddie, named Eddie. After Connie's date with Eddie, the audience may seem to be more sympathetic towards her because is shows that Connie is not just looking to have sex. She talks like boys are the only things on her mind, but when it comes down to it, she seems not to be ready. This is a totally opposite view from what the story portrayed her. Eddie's character in both the story and the movie help to show that there are two Connies, "as in the original story there is Connie-at-home, and there is Connie-with-her-friends" (Oates, "When" 628).