Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

1013 Words Mar 20th, 2016 5 Pages
At what point does a girl become a woman? In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, author Joyce Carol Oates tells the story of a relatable girl, named Connie, and her initiation into womanhood. While maturity, independence, and handsome boys attract Connie to the adult world, her perfect dream of adulthood is interrupted by antagonist male forces and an internal conflict between protection and self-reliance. Throughout the short story, Connie attempts to prove that she is a grown woman by rejecting the submissiveness of her sister and exploring her sexuality. However, Connie’s realization of the discrepancies between her fantasies and reality reduces her to fear and helplessness. In her transition towards adulthood, Connie, like many adolescents, searches for independence from childhood by holding a prolonged grudge against her family and reflecting on her adult fantasies. Connie constantly criticizes how “plain and chunky” her sister June is and makes her disdain for how June dresses evident. Furthermore, Connie’s relationship with her mother is strained by her mother 's disapproval of her naive daydreams. Still, the negative interactions and constant frustration with her family only further motivates Connie to find adulthood on her own. When Connie’s mother permits her to go to the mall, she uses the opportunity to escape and find her ideal Eddie to have a sweet, gentle time with. Leading a double life, Connie “wore her pullover jersey blouse that looked one way…

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