Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates: Fantasy Against Reality

Topics: Joyce Carol Oates, Love, Adult Pages: 3 (975 words) Published: April 9, 2013
Where You’re Going, Is Somewhere You Have Never Been
As you read through this short story written by Joyce Carol Oates, you will read about the story of a normal teenage girl, Connie, that loves to believe that she is far more mature than she really is. Her maturity that she longs for throughout the story is then forced upon her and, then her true colors show. They show that no matter how mature she thinks she is, she is still pretty far from full adulthood and is well in the middle of adolescence. Fantasy against reality is what is really going on with Connie.

Connie’s two-sided personality is split between when she is at home or with her family and when she is anywhere but home. While she is at home, she lives her reality. That reality is that she is still very young. “Her walk which is very childlike sometimes or languid as though she was listening to music; her mouth was pale and smirking most of the time, or bright pink with lipstick while she was out with her girlfriends; and even her laugh, which was very sarcastic at home, but high pitched and nervous sounding when she was with her friends or around boys…” (Oates). As you can tell, Connie works hard to perfect her second personality which is presenting herself as an experienced and mature woman when it comes to men. She escapes to this fantasy that is this sexy attractive woman through her hair style, clothes, and the way that she acts. Although she fights with her mother and older sister quite often, she still depends heavily on the adults in her life to care for her and enable her social life, a.k.a. her fantasy. For example, her best friend’s father that takes the girls into town and then picks them up. These conflicts that Connie has with her family are what fuel her efforts to make herself sexually attractive and causes her to try picking up boys at the local diner to experiment with sex. In doing so, Connie has an escape from her boring childlike reality, into an exciting fantasy that she...
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