“Where are You Going, Where Have you been?”
- Who are the main characters? Where does the story take place?
The main character in the story is Connie, who is a beautiful and self-absorbed 15-year old girl who is at loggerhead with her mother. Connie has an elder sister, June, who is 24 years old and lives with her mother. She works as a secretary at Connie’s high school. Another character is Eddie, a friend to Connie, who invites her for a dinner at a restaurant and Arnold who is interested in her. The setting of the story is in suburban American culture.
- What is this story about? How does it end?
The story talks about a physical journey for Connie’s family and the unlikely adventure with Arnold Friend as well as the emotional, spiritual, and mental journey. It also describes a history that defines Connie the protagonist who hates her life, feels special and deserves more. Connie seems to be heading somewhere by getting in the car with a friend but most often to impending danger.
The story ends in a scenario where Connie agrees to go with Arnold, and her eyes are brown that makes it hard to believe that she gave in to the boy. She appeared to have lost her mind and surrendered all.
- What did you like about the story? What did you dislike?
I like the way the story falls within the title of “where are you going, where have you been?” throughout the plot basing it on Connie. I like the way the author uses different styles to drive the point home about the lack of direction in Connie’s life. I do not like the way the author depicts ladies as inferior to men though it must have been intentional to align with the main theme.
- Please summarize the true case that this story is loosely based on.
The true case of the story is that; the author intends to relay the message that the model for womanhood is limited as evident in the story where only men can drive and have a symbol of independence in the American culture. However, Connie appears to go against the norm by demonstrating a new paradigm that opens up a much wider world to explore. For Arnold, he lives in such a generation but demonstrates aspects of the former generation. He ought not to demonstrate violence and control to Connie since he lives in the new generation.
- What is the relevance of this story to criminal justice?
The story relates to criminal justice in the aspect of Connie giving in to go with Arnold Friend without being sure of what lied before her. She is young and is likely to suffer from abduction which is a criminal offense. It is not clear whether Connie will ever come back without experiencing hypnotization, abduction, or sexual abuse. The practice is common where guys entice young ladies with a classy lifestyle and later expose them to abuse. In most instances, the practice is criminally-motivated, and the perpetrators seek to benefit from the young ladies. I think that Connie and other young girls may be unaware of what lies before them upon agreeing to go with people who promise them cash and other goodies. In essence, crime rates are on the rise since criminals disguise as good people but with ill intentions.
Oates J.C “where are you going, Where have you been?” (1966)
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