Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

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The short story, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been, by Joyce Carol Oates, is about a fifteen year old girl named Connie who is preoccupied with her appearance. Connie, the protagonist in the story, and her family, mainly her mother, don’t get along with her very well. Connie ends up meeting this guy named Arnold Friend, who is not who he appears to be. This work of literature is without a doubt a realistic story. Every kid in the real world is searching for independence like Connie. There are also many people pretending to be someone they are not. In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been, Connie, like every girl or boy her age, is searching for independence and acceptance. Connie’s conflicts with her family and efforts to make herself sexually attractive are part of her search for independence. However, no matter how much she wants to be independent from her family, Connie relies on the adults in her life for discipline and attention. The relationship between Connie and her family isn’t the best. Like most typical families with teenagers, they don’t get along real well. Connie’s mom, who was once as pretty as Connie, constantly scolds her for admiring her own good looks. Her mom wants Connie to be more like June, Connie’s older sister. June is twenty-four, still lives at home and works as a secretary at Connie’s high school. Her dad works a lot and rarely even talks to his daughters. Connie’s experiments with her appearance and trying to attract new boys are her way of trying to figure out who she really is. On page 1 it says “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home: … her mouth, which was pale and smirking most of the time, but bright and pink on these evenings out; her laugh, which was cynical and drawling at home-“Ha, ha, very funny”-but high-pitched and nervous everywhere else,…” In

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