Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Questions and Answers
by Joyce Carol Oates

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What is the thesis statement of "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

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Julianne Hansen, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As the other posts mention, a work of fiction doesn't have a thesis. Those are typically reserved for argument papers, which defend a particular position.

So, you're likely looking for one of two other things, and I'll try to help you with each.

Theme

The theme is a central idea that develops within a piece of literature. Often students think of this as an author's core message. Some themes that could apply to this short story include the following:

  • Key warnings of danger are sometimes overlooked. After all, Connie sees Arnold Friend when she is out with her friends. She realizes a strange car is pulling up to her house. She knows that Arnold Friend knows more than he should. Yet she continues to allow herself to be pulled into this horrific world.
  • Evil is pervasive. Arnold Friend is more than human. His knowledge is eerily omniscient, and he could be the embodiment of evil itself or even Satan. Could Connie have gotten away from him? Was it her fate to die this way?
  • We may seek to be rewarded...

    (The entire section contains 3 answers and 968 words.)

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