Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

1526 Words May 18th, 2016 7 Pages
Connie, the protagonist of a time period where women are seen as objects, follows society’s expectations. Joyce Carol Oates wrote “Where are you going, where have you been?” at a time when women were not respected by men. In “Where are you going, where have you been?”, Connie is approached by a man named Arnold Friend. Friend was very persistent about getting Connie to leave town with him. After Connie refused multiple times, he threatened to hurt her family. Due to the threat, Connie had no choice but to go with Friend, and what happens after that is left for the reader’s imagination to decide. The characterization in the story shows Oates’s feminist thoughts, and the way women used to be treated. The time in which this story takes place has a lot to do with the way women were treated. The story takes place in the American suburbs in the ‘60s. Back then the idea of contemporary life and values were not a strong topic, most looked right past it (Werlock). Men only thought about which women they would choose next to please them, and nothing more. During this era there was a destructive nature of love due to social backdrop: class, race, and gender (Niykos). As a result of love’s destructive ways, and teens being so vulnerable men had no shame in going after any and every women. The feelings of the women did not matter, the men just got what they wanted, and were on to the next women. Women of this era wanted to grow up so fast, “Oates’s allegory captures the child’s…

Related Documents