Essay on Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

1297 Words Nov 24th, 2015 6 Pages
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is one of Joyce Carol Oates’s most well-known pieces of writing. It has been widely anthologized in many college English textbooks throughout all of America. This story is actually based on a true story about a serial killer named Charles Schmid based out of Arizona. He is responsible for the death of four people from the Tuscon area in 1960 and was sentenced to death for his actions. Oates creates her own version of this story using the characters Connie and Arnold Friend. Arnold embodies many characteristics of Charles Schmid and his victim is a fifteen year old Connie. Oates says she was inspired by Bob Dylan’s song “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”. That song inspired Arnold’s famous line “I’ve got you now baby” when he first sees Connie. Connie is similar to girls her age; she is trying to be involved in adult activities but does not realize how her actions will affect her later on. She is in such a huge rush to grow up, she does not understand that there are sexual predators like Arnold Friend that want to take advantage of her naïve mind. There is a debate as to whether Connie is another victim of Arnold Friend, or if she is a heroine for basically sacrificing her safety in order to keep her family safe. Connie’s loss of innocence and irresponsible actions makes her a victim and possibly leads her to her death, not a heroine. One critic that stands next to the fact that Connie is a passive victim of Arnold Friend is Christiana…

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