Where Have You Been Where Are You Going Character Analysis Essay

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Peter Sinclair Eng. 101 Essay 2 To a Place of No Return Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Have You Been, Where Are You Going?” offers a unique take on a young girl’s transition from a teenager to a woman through a painful experience. When one analyzes Connie’s “coming of age”, it is important to understand who Connie is as a character in the story. Oates did a good job in developing her as a round and dynamic character, who is a realistic portrayal of a typical teenage girl during the 1950s. This story reflects a major social problem at that time, deteriorating family relationships, leaving Connie misguided and susceptible to manipulation. At the first glance, one might consider that Connie is a flat character since she is a typical teenage girl of the 1950s, constantly staring into mirrors and even comparing her looks to that of others. “She knew she was pretty and that was everything” (462). However, a closer analysis reveals that Connie is actually a well-developed character because she is complex and multi-faceted. “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home” (463). At home, she was plain…show more content…
He was just like all the other boys to Connie at that moment. Connie felt that she was in control and she felt comfortable like the way she felt at the diner for the first time at home, where she usually did not have control. All of a sudden, Connie’s real world and fantasy world for the first time merged. Connie seemed to have located a sense of self at home. Arnold then offered Connie to come for a ride in his car, using his flattery and charm. Although Arnold has Connie fooled by his flattery, Connie eventually saw through his deception when his old age becomes apparent; “She could see then that he wasn’t a kid, he was a much older-thirty, maybe more”
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