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Essay: Where Are You Going, Where Have You been? (Oats)

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
  • Reading time: 4 minutes
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  • Published: 22 September 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 994 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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Oat’s ‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”? illustrates a myriad of problems that array from a young teenager because of her obsession with being beautiful. Connie is a 15 year old, self-centered, vain and searching for social acceptance. ‘Her mother tells her ‘stop gawking at yourself, who are you’? (623) She believes her mother to be jealous, because isn’t as beautiful as she use to be. ‘She makes me want to throw up’! (623) her mother’s nagging and the praising of her sister make Connie wish she was independent.
Oat’s starts the miniseries in which Connie use’s her attractiveness to gain attention and to seduce the male species. She alternates her appearance and pretends that she is a much older woman. She conducts herself as if she has alter ego and living in a fantasy. At home is an innocent teenager and away from home she is this seductive woman. The author’s most salient solution is her advantageous as one can reason. The guys Connie hangs out with are familiar with her egotistical ways. She has created a sexual adult person but has no idea of how much attention she is attracting. Arnold Friend has his eye on Connie. He is an ambiguous figure described by the author is an older man, who has a demonic, human fantasy demeanor, and a threatening smile, who tells Connie that ‘ I am going to get you baby’.(624) He is extremely different looking than the boys who Connie is use to seeing. Connie get aroused and their mind goes into fantasy mode again.
Arnold friend masculinity arouses Connie, but at the same time causes her to experience a little fear. He drives an ostentatious looking car and he looks like a man with a mental problem wearing a wig. He has the code 33, 19, 17 painted on his car and when added it is a sexual commutations. Despite his appearance Connie is intrigued by Arnold Friend. She actually wants to get to know him better. Unannounced Friend shows up at Connie’s home! He tells her to come out side and take a ride with him. She has no idea of how this person knows where she lives. He starts to makes sexual advantages toward her and invites fear rather than attraction by stating that he knows everything about her. Unfortunately, Connie’s beauty and sexual appearance leads to tragic consequences for her and her family. Friend uses his masculinity to describe how advantageous it would be to change her into an adult. He is appealing to Connie’s fantasies. But she says that ‘he’s kinda strange’, (629) He speaks of patting, referring to the touching between people that causes sexual pleasure. ‘He is kind of great, Connie’ said reluctantly to herself. He uses music and quotes like ‘my sweet little blue eyed girl, music song by Bob Dylan.
When Connie realizes that Friend is not leaving without her she gets dizzy, and falls out. Arnold is going to take advantage of her in a sexual way. He lies to Connie about his age and Connie becomes frantic with fear! Ellie is his accomplice who is also along for the ride. Arnold starts to become irritated because of Connie’s opposing of riding with him. She now realizes that Arnold friend is no friend and that he has cruel intentions when it comes to her. He is lying to her and his intentions are not good. Dizziness is her fallback reaction and allows Arnold to gain an even stronger hold on her.
Arnold friend loses his patience’s and takes Connie’s child hood. He States that he is not leaving without her and her family will pay for the consequences of her not leaving quietly. Connie now knows that she has caused this on herself. She should have listened to her mother and went with them to the party. Her future is now gone and her past has been erased. Connie is now a victim of kidnapping and rape. The fantasy of being an adult has come to life. She puts out her hand against the screen and opens the door slowly. The song by Dylan comes to mind, the lyrics are ‘The vagabond who’s rapping at your door, is standing in the clothes that you once wore, Strike another match, go start anew, and it’s all over now, Baby Blue.’
These songs have many aspects of Dylan who is mirrored in the figure of Arnold Friend. Arnold Friend, a convict who uses his masculinity to dissolute young girl into believing that he can make them happier than their family. He preys on the weak and selfish ones. He believes that he is being a true man to those who have a need for independence. Connie a girl who uses her felinity to attract men has attracted the wrong bed fellow. She notices his voice and believes that it sounds just like the man on the radio by the name of Bobby King.
In the 60’s there was a man who lived in Arizona, his name Charles Schmid. Arnold Friend reminds you of this same individual. He was a small person, ugly and he wore boots that had a heel. His features were also similar to Schmid and he made himself look appealing to younger girls. Schmids’ was a very masculine and charming man. His parent where wealthy and he used his masculinity and money to capture what he believe to be a damsel in distress. Oates has introduced this same character in her story .This story shows that the attraction that women get from a man’s masculinity and the sexual permissive that women sets out as felinity has a way of sometimes attracting the wrong individual. Without the knowledge of Tucson, Schmid perform a series of killings, and three teenage girls were his victims. They were found buried in a desert.
http://www.sparknotes.com/short-stories/where-are-you-going-where-have-you- /section2.rhtml

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