"Where Are You Going Where Have You Been" Paper

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In the Story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” Connie, the main character, is introduced as a very pretty girl who is self absorbed. Connie has a “habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking others people’s faces to make sure her own was all right.” She is aware of her good looks and uses them to her advantage; she prides herself on her beauty and her flirting skills. She is at odds with her nagging mother and “plain” sister June. She looks down on her mother seeing only a sad shell of a once pretty woman: “if you could believe those old snapshots in the album.” She feels contempt towards her family. Connie is at an age where she is trying to establish a clear identity. She is neither a child nor adult. Connie makes an effort to claim her identity by testing the boundaries :. “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home.” She surrounds herself with friends and secrets; she leads a very duplicitous life. Once she leaves the confines of her home, she acts differently, dresses differently and goes places to hang out with the older boys. She feels that she knows best and that her mother is simple, believing her lies about “where she’s going” and “where she’s been.” She engages in attention seeking behaviors with the boys at the drive-in. Her self-worth is defined by these boys validating her beauty. Connie encounters the liminal during a monumental meeting with Arnold Friend. Arnold is someone she had seen at the drive-in a “boy with shaggy black hair, in a convertible jalopy painted gold.” She mistakes him for one of the typical teenage boys she usually hangs out with. Unfortunately, for Connie this could not be further from the truth. One Sunday afternoon while home alone, Arnold Friend unexpectedly shows up on her doorstep. Connie feels confident that she can handle him, noting

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