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The Main Ideas Of The Short Story Where Are You Going Where Have You Been?

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‘’Where are you going, where have you been?'' Is set to be in suburban of America in the 1960’s, a global change the sex revolution, women lacked important control over their lives. In Joyce Carol Oates one can see how she views particularly effective on the American life as a situation of invasion, abduction, rape and murder in the modern society. However, there are many themes found throughout the story, these themes is mainly focus on the antagonist which is been seen driving cars and not women and these act which is seen to symbolize independence and control in American culture. Arnold’s friend whom is said to represents is violence and control. Its representation of both themes are critical and fully understanding the bigger picture.

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Throughout ‘‘Where are you going, where have you been’’ Oates creates Connie as a fifteen years old girl , who rebels against her parents and begins to discover her sexual appeal as she grows up. The issue is that Connie rebels against her mother because she disapprove her of her habit. Connie who went out to hangout and meet an unknown guy whom later came to her house when no one was around and asked her that she should come in order for them to go for a ride ;however she said no and now she’s into a dangerous situation. This is especially made because she does not what is going to happen. Connie is said to have been raped or killed. Since she was the only one at home and there was no means of help. Oates show us how Arnolds friend was able to lure Connie out of the house and by using only his words and the strange sounds of the music which was playing in Connie’s house and also in his car much alike as Charles Schmid whom was known as ‘‘The piped piper of Tucson’’ whom killed several young teenage girls also lured them through his smooth way of talking.

Joyce Carol Oates who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s when fear of crime and criminal attack was very high. In 1966, when Oates wrote this story, there was little information about rape. Many people at that time blamed the raped victim, especially if it was an attractive women, for acting or dressing what they called ‘Too sexy’’. Many women did not even report of being raped because they were too ashamed. However, since then times have changed. Nowadays, especially with the ‘‘Me Too’’ movement, women are openly accusing the men who raped them. Even though Oates remembered at that time, there was a high crime rate. In 1966, rape was thought to be only violent act where the rapist usually had a weapon. Now rape can also include using too much pressure or power, such as a boss threatening job loss, or a boyfriend threatening to leave unless the woman submits. Now , as much alike as Connie who is obsessed with her beauty and like to explore things but she doesn’t have the experience that would help her know if something dangerous may happen to her one day.

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The Main Ideas Of The Short Story Where Are You Going Where Have You Been? (2021, August 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from
“The Main Ideas Of The Short Story Where Are You Going Where Have You Been?” Edubirdie, 16 Aug. 2021,
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