illustration of a young girl, Connie, reflected in the sunglasses of a man, Arnold Friend

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

by Joyce Carol Oates
Start Free Trial

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Questions and Answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Joyce Carol Oates is known for leaving cryptic clues in her stories that provide points of deeper analysis, and this is one such clue. When Arnold Friend introduces himself to Connie, he points out...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2021, 1:16 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

This question is asking for a basic plot analysis. Often teachers will make students graph these sections out on a pyramid or triangle. The exposition in this story is the introduction to setting,...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2018, 1:00 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The protagonist, Connie, faces an internal conflict in this short story. As the story opens, she is a rebellious fifteen-year-old who believes that she is smarter than her parents and older sister....

Latest answer posted March 30, 2021, 10:57 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

In this story, Connie transforms from a girl who seeks to validate her own superficial ideas to one who is willing to sacrifice herself for her family. As the story opens, Connie bases her...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2019, 2:36 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

These words are painted on Arnold's car as a kind of motto. Connie doesn't know what they mean but recognizes them as slang or a catchphrase that had been popular with teens "the year before" but...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2021, 12:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Ellie Oscar serves to heighten the eerie mood of the story and to provide a more physical threat to Connie. In many ways, Ellie seems like a voiceless replica of Arnold Friend. He mirrors Arnold...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2021, 1:53 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Arnold Friend symbolizes the exact opposite of what his name implies: he represents danger, potential pedophilia, and the end of life as Connie knows it. We get to know Connie as a typical vain...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2020, 10:37 am (UTC)

7 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

There is no intimacy or tenderness in the relationships that Connie has with her family members. Her parents also have little, if any, knowledge of Connie's associations and activities. A pretty...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2018, 11:17 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The external conflict that most directly leads to the climax centers between Connie and Arnold Friend. When Connie's family leaves her home alone, Arnold unexpectedly shows up at her house, telling...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2019, 12:42 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

There may be a number of symbolic interpretations of this gesture. The previous answer discusses Arnold Friend as a possible representation of 'the devil." I personally don't think this is a...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2009, 5:10 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

I think there is a clear anxiety of authorship present in this story. Oates was suggesting some pretty taboo thing during the course of the book, but the way Connie describes her memories as...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2012, 3:24 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Although Joyce Carol Oates drew on journalistic reports about abductions, rapes, and murders, her short story is fiction. There is no way to determine what “really” happens to a fictional...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2020, 5:44 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The way Friend leers at Connie, you might think these numbers are a woman's measurements: bust 33, waist 19, hips 17; but that would make an unusual looking woman. Perhaps he is referring to John...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2008, 4:05 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

I think that the story constructs a physical notion of beauty that is alluring and yet one predicated upon entrapment. Connie is obsessed with her beauty. Her mother constantly tells her to stop...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2011, 9:23 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The story continually iterates Connie's sense of herself as being "different" or somehow exceptional in her own mind, even though most readers will recognize her as being a fairly normal teenage...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2018, 2:16 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Joyce Carol Oates' title "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" supports the larger themes of journey and discovery within her short story. The protagonist Connie dreams of growing up and...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2012, 12:49 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

To some extent, there are various and/or multiple answers to this question. I don't think that a reader could provide an absolute definitive answer as to specifically why Connie goes with Arnold...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2018, 2:55 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Time magazine described Schmid as a guy who "always had wheels, money, tall tales and an inexhaustible supply of available girls' phone numbers." Likewise, Arnold Friend arrives in Connie's yard...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2019, 4:48 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

At the end of Joyce Carol Oates's short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?," Arnold Friend calls Connie "My sweet little blue-eyed girl." The author notes that this phrase has nothing...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2021, 11:52 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

One way Oates creates suspense is through the use of tone. Oates employs a serious tone in spite of Connie's behaviors that lean toward deviating from her parents' rules and finding ways to make...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2019, 12:45 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Identity in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" acts to separate Connie from her family emotionally and then physically as Arnold Friend misrepresents his own identity to her. Connie's...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2017, 5:33 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The title overtly applies to the frequent questions which Connie's mother plagues her with. In response to these questions, Connie lies and is surprised at the apparent "simplicity" of her mother...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2011, 6:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

One interesting topic would be to examine the character of Arnold Friend. He certainly is a creepy character, and he seems to know more information about Connie than should be possible for a...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2020, 12:33 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

It is never explained how Arnold Friend knows so much about Connie and her family. When he confronts her at her house, he is able to tell her exactly where her family is at that moment: a picnic....

Latest answer posted October 2, 2021, 11:19 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is a classic short story written by Joyce Carol Oates. The story explores themes of trust, sexuality, and religion. In the story, Connie, a young and...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2018, 5:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Oates gives many psychoanalytic clues regarding the relationship between Connie and her parents. The psychoanalyst would seize upon the chasm between Connie and her parents. Oates' depiction of...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2011, 8:12 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

In her 1990 journal article published in Studies in Short Fiction entitled "The Shadow of a Satyr in Oates's 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" literary critic Joan Easterly posits that...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2017, 10:31 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Arnold Friend's physical description is deliberately presented by Oates as being similar to that of Bob Dylan. This is not surprising given that the book is actually dedicated to Bob Dylan and that...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2018, 10:40 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Connie was not any more vain, deceitful, or manipulative than any other fifteen year old girl, and her vanity was not the cause of her fate. Connie was sucked into Arnold Friend's manipulations...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2008, 4:04 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

At the beginning of the story, Connie is proud of her beauty and seems to value herself largely according to the way she looks. She doesn't appear to be aware that there is any value outside of her...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2019, 12:37 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Personally, I think it was both Connie's naive nature and vanity and a little bit of societal expectations that made Connie an easy target. Connie is a typical teenager for this time period in...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2008, 11:21 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The antagonist in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is Arnold Friend, a man who lures protagonist Connie out of her family’s house and forces her to leave with him for an ambiguously...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2020, 5:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates tells of a fifteen-year-old girl named Connie who deceives her parents by telling them that she is going to movies...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2019, 1:21 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

You might like to consider the description of Arnold Friend in response to this question. He, through his appearance and through his activity could be considered to be "grotesque." When Connie sees...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2011, 8:50 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

“Where are You Going, Where have You Been” (1966) is arguably Joyce Carol Oates’s best-known short story, also distinguished because of the presence of Arnold Friend, one of contemporary...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2019, 5:13 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

A distinct aspect of Connie's characterization is that she is not very likable at the story's exposition. Evoking sympathy for Connie is difficult because she barricades herself from the world with...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2014, 11:01 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Arnold Friend, in Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" wears boots. Surprisingly, the reader may be able to glean important information by studying the author's...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2012, 3:59 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

In the story, Arnold threatens Connie into going away with him despite her intense resistance. Early in the story, he tells her, "Gonna get you, baby." Initially, Connie thinks nothing of it. She...

Latest answer posted October 1, 2021, 11:39 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

When used in literature, irony is the difference between what you expect to happen in a situation and what actually happens. The famous short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" by...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2019, 12:56 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Perhaps more than any other issue or topic, the question of "what happens to Connie?" is the lynchpin in discussions of this well-known short story. Perhaps that is one reason that the film version...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2010, 11:55 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Arnold Friend seems to be the manifestation of evil. Removing the letter R from both his first and last name leaves the reader with "an old fiend," which is a pretty stern implication that Arnold...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2019, 12:36 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The first adjective that comes to mind to describe Connie is "vain." She is aware that she is pretty, and, despite her mother's admonition to "stop gawking at yourself," Connie has a habit of...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2017, 11:29 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

A "coming of age" story tells of a protagonist who, due to some internal or external conflict, is moved from childlike innocence to a more adult like understanding of the world. In this story,...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2019, 4:50 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

In "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates, Arnold Friend's car can represent a number of things. To teenagers, cars can represent anything from maturity to freedom to...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2019, 9:06 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Inspired to write her short story "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?" after reading an account in Life magazine of a strangely influential young man who lured and then killed several girls...

Latest answer posted August 13, 2011, 10:15 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

One big difference between the short story and the film adaptation is that Joyce Carol Oates ends her story on a highly ambiguous note, suggesting Connie willingly goes off with Arnold Friend when...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2020, 2:19 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Both Queenie and Connie attract the advances of males that they are not interested in. In "A&P," Sammy notices the minute details of Queenie as she walks around the store with her friends. He...

Latest answer posted August 30, 2019, 11:52 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Connie's mother has a tendency to compare Connie to her older sister, June, and that comparison seems to manifest with Connie being considered inferior. In the story's first paragraph, Connie's...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2017, 1:22 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

In Joyce Carol Oat's "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?," Arnold seems to have some kind of hypnotic control over Connie. It is not so much that he does something purposeful as if literally...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2017, 3:44 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

I think that if there is a search for the examples of the theme of appearance versus reality, there is much in the work to suggest this as being quite valid. On one hand, Connie seems to be a girl...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2011, 9:07 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Showing 1-50 of 242