Analysis Of Joyce Carol Oates Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

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Joyce Carol Oates is an American writer who has published over forty novels. Most of her novels are graphic and many of them depict death. In her short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Oates tells the story of Connie, a fifteen year old girl. Like in many of her previous novels Connie dies, or the reader is led to believe she does. Oates was inspired by Bob Dylan’s song “ It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”, Charles Schmid, and from the book of Judges chapter 19 verse 17 in the Bible. While Joyce Carol Oates had many inspirations for writing this story, one of the most dominant was Charles Schmid. Schmid, or “Smitty” as his friends called him, was a serial killer in Tucson, Arizona during the 1960s. He excelled at gymnastics in high school, but was always known as a troublemaker. He dropped out of high school after he got caught stealing tools from the machine shop, and lived off of the allowance his parents gave him instead of getting a job. “Charles Howard Schmid, Jr., was a little pipsqueak of a guy, standing just about…show more content…
Connie heard the praise off her mother, “June did this, June did that, she saved money and helped clean the house and cooked and Connie couldn’t do a thing, her mind was all filled with trashy daydreams.” Connie may have encountered Arnold Friend in person and he may have spoken to her. In the short story, Connie was not really raped and killed. Arnold raping and killing her was just a figment of her imagination. As Connie was “moving out into the sunlight”, Arnold said “My sweet little blue-eyed girl.” Because Connie had brown eyes and the light is surrounding her, it can be inferred that what is occurring is not real, and she is waking up from a dream. Due to the wording in the short story, one possible ending to “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is that Connie was dreaming the entire

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