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

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Why does Connie go off with Arnold Friend

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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 waving something shiny before her eyes, but the pull he has is almost palpable.

Her first impression of him at the restaurant includes his car:

...a convertible jalopy painted gold.

When he arrives at her house, the author describes Arnold's speech:

...he spoke in a fast bright monotone.

Arnold and his friend are both wearing sunglasses, but Arnold's glasses are noteworthy:

The driver's glasses were metallic and mirrored everything in miniature.

Like a child drawn to bright and shiny things, Arnold's car, glasses and even his speech seem to create a wave that Connie is unsuspectingly swept into.

There is more to this boy than Connie could imagine, and nothing for which she is prepared. A sense of something unnatural, even...

(The entire section contains 507 words.)

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