Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been By Joyce Carol Oates

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Paul Mooney once said “People don’t want to hear the truth; they never do. They wanna live in some kind of fantasy.” This quote implies that people perceive things unlike what they actually are. This is perfectly representative of the situation Connie, from the story “Where are you going, Where have you been” by Joyce Carol Oates, becomes associated with. The story features a young female struggling with personal “demons” caused by her encounter with a “devilish” antagonist. Connie, who lives in her own fantasy world, is thrown for a curveball after being trapped by Arnold Friend, the “devilish” antagonist. Her protective, fantasied world comes to an abrupt stop. Textual elements in the story reflect upon the theme of fantasy vs. reality throughout.…show more content…
Connie is portrayed as a typical 15 year old girl. She listens to music, flirts with boys, and fantasizes about them. She dresses like an adult and wears her hair “pulled up” to attract boys to her (1053). This is an example of Connie’s personal “demon”; she wants to be independent from her family and tries to accomplish this by rebelling against her family. Her longing for independence is clearly seen when Connie states that she dislikes her sister. However, the reader can infer that Connie secretly wishes to be independent just like her. By rebelling against her parents’ wishes, Connie and her friends go to the drive-in restaurant where she meets with older boys, putting herself in danger. She mistakes her lifestyle for reality, but instead it is her own fantasy world. Connie believes that nobody can touch her inside of her own fantasied bubble, but in reality, she is very
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