Where are You Going…Joyce Carol Oates

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” (Campbell) Topics that will be addressed in the play are its primary theme which is, in a researcher’s opinion, the search for independence. In the story, the author has many different ways of showing this theme, Connie’s rebellious attitude toward her family, and her hormonal attitude toward men and attracting them. Though explaining the truth within the conscious of Connie may not give you a full understanding of why she performed some of the activities she did, but it will better enhance the reader’s knowledge of them. By examining “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, Connie’s search for independence is a strong theme in the story, her integrity, and morality is compromised when the antagonist Arnold Friend comes and gives her a shaken reality.

Connie makes herself out as if she is an adult; she likes people to look at her with awe but little does she know, that is not always good. “Stop gawking at yourself. Who are you? You think you’re so pretty?” (Oates) She wants to walk, talk, and dress like she is an adult and be independent. Connie runs over to a restaurant to engage in the boys and music, and the enthusiastic environment around her. Every person has a particular set of mannerisms when around a crowd of people or in public. Although Connie acts a certain way in public, she also has a strong sense of unrequited love. “But all boys fell back and dissolved into a single face that was not even a face but an idea, a feeling, mixed up with the urgent, insistent pounding of the music and the humid night air of July.” (Oates). “but an idea, “she says, she adores the idea of having her prince charming. But everyone knows those stories are fairytales, and untrue.

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Connie has begun to distance herself from her family. Her family is her primary source of protection which she…