Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Essay

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Adolescence is a time period where an individual is faced with uncertainty of who they are and where they stand in life. This is a phase in life where young-adults are looking to be accepted in society. Joyce Carol Oates shows her readers in her short story, “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?” how vulnerable girls can be during their teenage years. In the story, fifteen year old Connie believed that her beauty gave her the power to be able to control others. In search of love, attention, and her true identity, Connie’s naïve and self-centered ways lead her into the arms of a predator, Arnold Friend. A teenagers feelings of self-worth depends upon the approval of others; friends, members of the opposite sex, and family. In the story, “Where are you Going, Where have you been?,” the protagonist Connie is an…show more content…
She was the underdog of the house, living in the shadow of her older sister, June, whom worked, cleaned, and saved money. Her dad was a working man that didn’t bother to spend time bonding with his family. He didn’t play an active role in her life, never spoke to her about boys, dangers of the world, or anything. He would come from work, read his paper, ate his dinner, never attempting to say word. On the other hand, her mother was always putting her down, “mentioning her name in disapproval”, and comparing her to her older sister (314). There was nothing Connie could do but be pretty “June did this, June did that, and Connie couldn’t do a thing” (312). All in all she still believed, “her mother preferred her over June because she was prettier,” and that’s the identity she gave herself (315). She saw herself as the prettiest person at home, so she believed she had be the prettiest girl everywhere else. She used her beauty and attitude to her advantage, to gain the attention she wanted from the older boys at the drive-in restaurant, since it is something she was missing at home and with her
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