Examples Of Fate Comes Choice In Where Are You Going Where Have You Been

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With Fate Comes Choice In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, a short story by Joyce Carol Oates, the combination of the circumstances and the choices that Connie makes all indicate that she is responsible for her own fate. Connie’s family life plays a large role in making her a very independent and self-reliant person. She wants to present herself as a mature attractive individual, and her family structure sets her up with the opportunity to do as she sees fit. In making the choice to present herself to the boys in this manner she has also made the choice to assume all responsibility for the consequences of her actions. When Connie encounters Arnold she attempts to flirt with him and puts on her attractive persona just as she would …show more content…
Each member of her family has forced this responsibility on her in their own way, though often unintentionally. The first indication of this is her father’s lack of presence in her family. Connie notes that “[her] father is away at work most of the time” (1). She has few opportunities to interact with her father because when he is home his schedule consists of reading the newspaper, eating, and going to bed. Connie is lacking the much needed attention of one of the important role models in kids’ lives causing her to be much more self-reliant. Even more pressure act like an adult is put on Connie by the standards her sister has set. Her parents think that her sister, June, is a well-established adult and are very happy with the success she has had. June has indirectly put a lot of pressure on Connie to meet their parent’s expectations, but in doing so as also given her some additional freedoms. Connie’s parents think that her sister is the perfect role model. June is employed at Connie’s high school and “saves money and helps clean the house [and also] cooks” (1). Since they regard her sister so highly her parents don’t mind when Connie decides to imitate …show more content…
She handles this whole encounter as another opportunity to use her beauty to flirt with some new guy. When she realizes that a car has pulled up in her driveway her first instinct is to check on how she looks. She sees that it is two guys in the car and she begins to put on her typical act to try and entice the boys. She opens the door and stands there with her toes curled off the step. When the conversations begins with Arnold she is tactful and “speaks sullenly, careful to show no interest or pleasure” (3). She doesn’t want to let Arnold know that she is curious about him. When Arnold asks Connie if she wants to come for a ride it gives her the opportunity to play hard to get. She just “smirks and lets her hair fall loose over one shoulder”, a tactic she has surely used successfully with many previous boys (3). Arnold then tries to break the ice further by talking about the radio program with her. The thought of all the music she likes and the future that is promised to her in the songs likely give her more confidence and make her want to try and entice Arnold even more, though she is still a little unsure about him. “She can’t decide if she likes him or if he is just a jerk, and so she dawdles in the doorway and [doesn’t] come down or go back inside” (3). Connie isn’t sure if she can trust Arnold Friend or not, but makes the decision to stay and see how the situation plays out. All

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