Is Connie dreaming? Is Friend a figment of Connie's imagination? "Where Are You Going?  Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

While the story "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?" is told by a third-person narrator, there are times in which Connie's point of view is used.  For instance, in the exposition, Connie's view of her mother is discussed,

Now her looks were gone, and that was why she was always getting after Connie.

But, Connie "knew she was right at that moment," she thinks one time her mother scolds her.  "She knew she was pretty and that was everything." This selfish perspective of Connie interspersed with the third-person narrator's and the fact that "her mind was all filled with trashy daydreams" along with her confusion between reality and appearance--"Everything about her had two sides to it"--contribute to an ambiguity in the story.  Added to this, the story has no definitive resolution, so there does seem to be a dream-like...

(The entire section contains 446 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Already a member? Log in here.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on