Analysis Of 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'

713 Words3 Pages
“Where are you going, where have you been?” by Joyce Caro Oates is a chilling short story about a young silly girl named Connie, who gets more than she bargained for. She meets a charming killer who shows his vicious intent in the end. The theme of the story is to never trust strangers, because they will come back when you least expect it; in other words, the difference between what’s fantasy from what’s reality. Oates uses style and setting to reveal to over theme or the overall “Unity of Effect.” Carol uses the style of characterization to present the theme. In the story, we meet a young misguided teen, Connie. She’s fifteen years old with an overbearing mother, typically working father, and a mature “ideal” older sister. Oates paints a picture of a realistic situation at home for her readers. Connie likes to seek self-validation by glancing in mirrors and also looking at others for approval. Her persona seems to be of an ordinary teen. For example, “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home: her walk, which could be childlike and bobbing, or languid enough to make anyone think she was…show more content…
It appears that he spots her before she notices him. “It was a boy with shaggy black hair, in a convertible jalopy painted gold. He stared at her and then his lips widened into a grin.” He’s an older man, who seems to be “harmless” in the beginning. However, when he came to her home in his gold convertible car, Oates tells us that he’s a creepy. Not only that, but that he’s up to no good. His persona seems to also split, like Connie, he presents himself as somewhat of gentleman in at the restaurant, but in an intimate setting, he turns into what he reveals as “Arnold Friend.” Who is Arnold friend? He’s an “old fiend” who polishes his gold Jalopy with fresh paint to depict this clear image of the end of his “prey”,
Open Document