Themes Fantasy versus Reality Although Connie works hard to present the appearance of being a mature woman who is experienced with men, her encounter with Arnold reveals that this is only a performance.
Connie and her friends typically go off with boys to sit in the cars, eat hamburgers, listen to music on the radio, and kiss.
These trends physically earmarked the youth of the day, who strove to mimic what they saw. His social rival is a leatherjacketed hot-rodder, who challenges him to race their jalopies to the edge of a cliff and dive out before the cars drop over it.
Edited by Elaine Showalter. Connie comes across as a teenager trying to define herself in the context of her times, as other teenagers were in the s and even more conspicuously in the s, when the story was written.
Neglected by her father and criticized by her mother, Connie takes solace in the knowledge that she is attractive and desirable to the boys she associates with at school and in town.
Yet at the same time societal interest in blatant sexual imagery was blossoming. Popular lyrics inspire her fantasies about what life and love relationships should be like. There Connie proceeds to dream and fantasize about her romantic adventures, which interest her far more than her family obligations.
That Old Time Rock and Roll. However, until Arnold Friend arrives, her explorations have always been swaddled in safety. Other reviews of the story have noted its skillful portrayal of not only action but also attitudes toward women.
This new musical genre appealed almost exclusively to teenagers, whom it helped isolate as an independent social group.
Society increasingly catered to the amusements of teenagers as they became a viable target group for commercial and retail purposes.
Her mother criticizes her for her vanity whenever she gazes in the mirror. The new music provided a means to teen solidarity Then, when he does come home, he eats supper and reads the newspaper during the meal.
As a teenager, she is dependent on the adults in her life for care and discipline as well as for enabling her social life. Her search may continue, but all signs point to a more permanent end.
Although he is older than her, in these ways he resembles her peers. A pretty girl, fifteen-year-old Connie is entirely self-absorbed.
Shortly after her family leaves, a car pulls up with two young men in it. Friend seems to have a great deal of information about Connie, which leaves her feeling stricken with fear.
They occasionally cross the highway and wander into the drive-in restaurant, which is packed with other teenagers, many of whom have their own cars. Men, Women and Rape. The conservative family values and morals that predominated in the s were just beginning to be challenged as the decade came to a close.
There were, of course, other influences: Her coming-of-age story also anticipates emergence from the hazy dreams and social innocence of the s into the harsher realities of random violence, war, and crime.
Connie, on the other hand, exasperates and irritates her mother. In the fictional case of Connie and Arnold Friend, he singles her out at a drive-in the night before. His language in regard to her is suggestive and explicit.Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is full of conflicts surrounding the main character, Connie. One of Connie’s main conflicts is finding herself. Connie is greatly mistreated by her family. Connie’s mother wants her to be more like her sister; neat and responsible.
She became noted for her portrayals of evil and violence in contemporary American society.
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is one of her most discussed and examined pieces of work. The story, which deals with such troubling issues as sexuality, rape, and adolescence in American culture, has been the center of much.
On a literal level, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is a spine-chilling tale of rape and murder with a plot carefully controlled to create suspense. On a figurative level, it is an allegory of lost innocence, the screen door symbolizing the fragile threshold between childhood dreams and adult experience, between romantic illusions of love.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? study guide contains a biography of Joyce Carol Oates, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis of the short story Where are You Going, Where Have You Been. There is no intimacy or tenderness in the relationships that Connie has with her family members.
Her parents also have little, if any, knowledge of Connie's associations and activities. A pretty girl, fifteen-year-old Connie is entirely self-absorbed. A summary of Themes in Joyce Carol Oates's Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?.
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