Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Literary Analysis

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“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates is a story about a girl- Connie-who is stalked by a boy-Arnold-and is eventually persuaded into leaving with him, but is that really what this story about? Or is there is another meaning between the lines. The actual story itself is based on a serial killer that kills teenage girls and is successful in doing so by manipulating his appearance to blend in. After all appearances are everything in the world. You must look a certain way and act a certain way in order to blend in and be recognized at the same time. However, appearances aren’t always what they seem to be. They can be deceptive and elusive, Connie and Arnold are great examples of this. Connie’s life at home is a facade.…show more content…
When Arnold showed up at Connie’s house he was driving an old car that had recently been painted. The car had some interesting things about it. It was painted metallic gold and had random sayings on it. One expression that Connie saw while looking at the car was familiar to her. It said, “MAN THE FLYING SAUCERS” (657), a phrase that had been popular the year before but wasn’t anymore (657). Connie thought this was a little odd; Why would a guy, who claimed to be the same age as her, have that saying on a recently painted car, when it was out of date. “She looked at it for a while as if the words meant something to her that she did not yet know” (657). Connie had a feeling here that something was not right. Arnold’s car also has his own name plastered on the side. “ARNOLD FRIEND was written in tar like black letters on the side,with a drawing of a round, grinning face that reminded Connie of a pumpkin, except it wore sunglasses” (655). Since his name is plastered on the side of his car it is like a shouting statement of the fact that the car, as well as Arnold himself, is an illusion. The car has recently been painted, which signifies that it could be hiding something. His name itself is also an illusion, boldly painted on the side, Arnold Friend is trying to be A Friend to Connie. While realistically, the last thing he wants from her is

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