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Connie from “Where Are You Going…” by Oates


“Where are you going, where have you been?” is a diminutive story by Joyce Carol Oates, which illustrates the author’s perspective on how the community saw women in the 1960s. It is founded on a factual story of assassination and rape in Tucson, Arizona, in 1965. The novel is set in the 1960s when practically everything was at a crossroads. It tells the story of a teen who sought to capture the attention of males, but she eventually left her home and family with a foreigner. Connie embodied the fate of most adolescent girls in the era. The story can be viewed from a variety of perspectives, including gender, societal, psychiatric, and chronological. The author shows how feminist has conquered during 1965 and 1966 era since women were devalued and denied the rights to express them in the society. Connie’s father rarely listened to his wife and her daughter Connie. This contributed to Connie seeking love and attention from outside the family resulting in her sexual torture. It is evident that when parents do not give their children love, attention, and care, it might result in them falling in temptations.

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Summary of the Author’s Main Points and Discussion of the Evidence in the Article

Connie’s closest friend’s father accompanies them to the city’s department store in the afternoons, in which they are left alone. Connie meets a boy called Eddie and abandons her friend to accompany him one night at the cafe. Connie notices a guy in a shiny gold automobile beaming at her as they left the cheeseburger place. As she leaves the room, he jokes, “I’m going to get you, sweetie” (2) (Oates, and Showalter 2). She catches up with her companion and the two of them head home. Connie devotes a lot of her time fantasizing about men in broad strokes. Although she is frequently at odds with her mother, she believes that her mother favors her to June due to her attractiveness. Connie’s parents are going to her aunt’s place for a grill the next day; however, Connie prefers to not accompany them and clean her hair. Connie sits in the courtyard, watching her hair dry, and dreams of adoration. She gets up and becomes bewildered for a few moments before returning home. When she hears a car come into her driveway, she falls asleep listening to music and resting.

Connie rushes downstairs to explore, inspecting her hair, and discovers the gentleman and the platinum automobile she had seen the previous night in the hotel parking lot. Connie heads toward the front balcony, where the gentleman invites her for a drive and compliments her on her appearance, calling her “cute” (4). Connie decides to stay in the entryway when he asks her to peek from the other driver’s side. Connie states she has “things to do” when he begs her to meet for a trip later, which lets him chuckle (5). He giggles and informs her that today has already been “laid aside” for them to go on a journey altogether (6). Connie examines his vehicle and notices the colloquial expression “MAN THE FLYING SAUCERS” emblazoned on the back. This bothers her, but she cannot put her finger on the above. Connie is surprised when she realizes Arnold Friend’s friend, Ellie Oscar, has the appearance of a forty-year-old man. This knowledge causes her to become disoriented, as she realizes the issue is more terrible than she had previously assumed. Connie begs the man to go, but Arnold Friend disagrees.

Connie is angered when Arnold Friend refers to himself as Connie’s “boyfriend” and makes intimate suggestions. Connie tries to shut the door, but her assaulter swears to open it. If she does not comply with him, protagonist warns her to hurt her household. By refusing to move with him, he claims she is jeopardizing her home. “I’m not falling asleep in [her] bedroom anymore,” Connie realizes (13). Arnold Friend reminds Connie that her house is powerless to defend thus informs of his intention of taking Connie to a cornfield and “teach [her] what romance is just like” (14). Connie sees herself strolling, disconnected from her body, as she walks approaching Arnold Friend. He informs Connie that her parents would never do anything like this, which makes her feel better. Connie looks in the mirror as she paves the way. Near the front door, Arnold Friend awaits, together with “the great sunny stretches of the field next to him from entire borders of him. Connie sees enormous terrain that she had not perceived earlier and could not identify until when she was just about to inhabit it” (14).

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Article

This article is operational since the novelist presents a considerable squabble about the effort of collected works. Oates introduces Connie’s pride, stating that she sets a high value on her features and beautiful looks, providing her a feeling of power and position. Connie has bad relationship with her parents and siblings, which, when paired with an emotionally detached father, gives the impression that Connie is alone in her home. Arnold Friend takes the privilege of both Connie’s fixation with beauty and her isolation from her parents to exploit their weakness. Connie’s awful end is anticipated by her desperate longing for eternal damnation. Ultimately, considering how effortlessly Connie and her companion arrange to meet up soon, it appears that girls interacting with men are commonplace. Connie links enjoyment to melody and sexual attention yet again, however, this round the latter is undesired. This time, the man identified as Arnold Friend—has a rapacious demeanor and menacingly communicates to Connie. Oates emphasizes the link connecting attention from men, comfort, and singing once more by stating that Connie can no more listen to music after they depart the park.


Finally, it is acceptable to accord with the writer’s views in this book “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” on family relationships. If caregivers are not in a position to provide their offspring with the essential assistance, the children may confront a variety of difficulties and uncomfortable conditions, which on some occasions may result in a terrible outcome. The examination of “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” main scenes and finale reveal that Joyce Oates explains how one or two miscommunications can affect a person’s future, particularly the potential of a child. In addition, feminism has also been seen as challenge since Connie’s father does not listen to her mother. This describes the position of a woman in this society as being mistreated. Furthermore, by Arnold telling Connie that it wound not last long illustrates that men are only apprehensive with their sexual inclination not considering whether the woman is contented.

Work Cited

Oates, Joyce Carol, and Elaine Showalter. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” 3rd ed., Rutgers Univ. Press, 2017, p. all.

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