In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, is Connie a typical teenage girl of her time and place?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Joyce Carol Oates certainly intends for Connie to be perceived as a typical teenage girl for her place and time, but even though statistics of rebellion and youthful "storm and stress" are depressingly high, some may argue that this still does not represent the typical teenager. Be that as it may, Connie is depicted as a typical teenage girl who is battling for her place in the world as a young woman even though still a daughter, offspring, friend, sister, potential mate. She is depicted as walking the tightrope between girlhood and womanhood.

She is also depicted as typically having two identities, one for school and one for home, between which she feels torn and unsure. She is also depicted as being attracted to the concept of "boyfriend" instead of being fond of a particular boy whom she desires as a boyfriend. It is these last two points of inner divisiveness that, even though they are meant to be "typical," may be argued as that which sets her apart from typical.

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