Analysis Of Joyce Carol Oates 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'
For the first time in his life, Eliot comes to his own home after school, finding it empty and foreign, and receives a call from his mom. “Eliot looked out the kitchen window, at gray waves receding from the shore, and said that he was fine” (135). During his time with Mrs. Sen, the kitchen was always a place filled with activity, distracting him and keeping him company. Instead, in his own home, he notices only the waves moving upon the sand, with no TV to entertain him. In his hand his house key instead of comics, and on his shoulders the burden of adult responsibilities instead of the freedom of childhood. Just as Eliot notices the waves in front of him as he makes this premature transition, Connie notices the vast land surrounding her as she involuntarily walks towards Arnold Friend, “‘My sweet little blue-eyed girl’, he said in a half-sung sigh that had nothing to do with her brown eyes but was taken up just the same by the vast sunlit reaches of the land behind him and on all sides of him—so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to it” (333). Instead of looking into Arnold Friend’s eyes with fear and loathing, Connie sees the far reaching land all around her. The land is around Connie is “sunlit”, unlike her experiences with Arnold