Character analysis of Connie in "Where are you going, where... (2023)

984 words4 pages

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been is about a teenage girl named Connie who is trying to come to terms with her transition from childhood to adulthood. Through this process, Connie tries to act older than she is and tries to get the attention of boys. In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been, Joyce Oates portrays Connie as obsessed with men to symbolize how obsession and narcissistic attitudes can make danger seem surreal.
Imshort story, Carol Oates describes Connie as having two distinct personalities, one of which has a narcissistic attitude. Oates says: "Everything about her had two sides, one for home and one for everything not at home: her walk, which could be childlike and swaying or sluggish enough more content...
Connie's first encounter with Friend was at a diner when he said to Connie, "I'll get you, baby" (p. 1142). Being used to this kind of attention, Connie didn't find it odd that an older man would call her like that. However, had Connie seen Friend as dangerous and not just another man, her kidnapping might have been prevented. Later in the story, when Friend came up as Connie's house, instead of asking how he knew where she lived or calling the police, she went outside and spoke to him. Describing Connie's interaction with Friend, Oates said: "Connie liked the way he was dressed, as they all did: tight, faded jeans with black scuffed boots, a belt that accentuated his waist and showed how slim he was, and a white sweater shirt that was a little soiled and showed the hard muscles of his arms and shoulders” (p. 1145). Instead of realizing the danger she was in, Connie focused on what Arnold Friend was wearing and how attractive he was. Connie's obsession with finding her own sexuality overwhelmed her gut feeling of danger. In an analysis of Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been, Barbara Wiedemann discusses how the antagonist Arnold Friend is based on serial killer Charles Schmid, who murdered several young girls in the 1960s. In the Wiedemann analysis


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