Joyce Carol Oates Where Are You Going Essay

“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” written by Joyce Carol Oates is an unsettling and incredibly formidable story of a young woman’s loss of innocence during a time of social change, unrest and turbulence.The story’s protagonist is Connie, a self-absorbed, yet beautiful fifteen-year-old girl, who is at odds with not only her family but also the conservative values handed down by society.

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I don’t even know how many times my parents would get up and leave the room when my friends and I would be talking about which boy was cutest, or who was kissing who during lunch.

I believe that Connie knew that her parents wouldn’t approve of her sitting around in boys’ cars for hours at a time late at night, which is why she chose to lie to them about where she was and what she was doing.

There is no hope for Connie since she does not know what to do about Arnold.

Reader Response Essay - Joyce Carol Oates's Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

She only knows about popular culture and not the consequences that comes with it.

Without proper direction to face problems, Connie is confronted by Arnold Friend who has a plan to do some grotesque things to her.I have also done these things, however my edited version of the truth did not bring about the unforeseen complications that Connie’s did.Towards the end of the story Connie, being a regular teenage girl, opts to stay at home and wash her hair while her parents go to a barbecue.This story speaks of a young teenage woman who, amid the civil rights’ movement and sexual revolution of the 1960s, is rebelling against the conservative morals and values of the 1950s and exploring her individuality and sexuality with a sense of egotism and inexperience that eventually gets her into harm’s way.Walt Anderson in his book “The Age of Protest” states that “the Civil Rights movement may have been the most emotionally charged movement of the 1960s”.Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" tells us about the life of Connie who has no guidance in life, because her family has not provided any moral support to help through her teenage life.This encounter between them causes a power struggle between them that provides Connie downfall toward potential death.Arnold's proclaimed supernatural ability controls and manipulates Connie's mind and spirituality to strip her of any dignity that exists within.These two people had completely different views about life, and when she was away from home she was more carefree, and able to have more fun especially with boys."Boys," a word that parents of a fifteen-year-old girl do not want to hear, and I am saying this from experience.

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