Sexuality In Joyce Carol Oates 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been'

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“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates Joyce Carol Oates uses characterization to illustrate the difficulties of coming to terms with adult sexuality. Throughout this short story, it is interpreted that Connie is living a double life. To begin with, “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home” can imply her efforts to be rebellious and go against her parents’ wishes (Oates 627). Connie longed to feel mature and grown up, moreover her and her friend “sometimes went shopping or to a movie, but sometimes they went across the highway, ducking fast across the busy road, to a drive-in restaurant where the older kids hung out” (Oates 627). Connie began to detach from her family and begin to explorer the powers of her emerging sexuality. She began to dress and act differently outside the walls of her home. For example, “she drew her shoulders up and sucked in her breath with the pure pleasure of being alive, and just at that moment she happened to glance at a face just a few feet from hers” (Oates 628).…show more content…
The first words spoken by Arnold Friend towards Connie are “Gonna get you, baby”, which can assume the possible threat of trouble (Oates 628). Connie is completely cut off guard when Arnold mysteriously shows up at her house. When she notices him, she is conflicted about “if she liked him or if he was just a jerk” (Oates 630). As the conversation begins between Connie and Arnold, she begins to become more and more suspicious of Arnold as she notices peculiar details about his appearance. Connie discovers that all the characteristics she has made about Arnold like the way he dresses, his gestures, and “the singsong way he talked…but all these things did not come together” (Oates 632). As she begins to question his age and notices that he has “the face of a forty-year-old baby” her heart starts to race (Oates
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