Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Summary

Words: 1147
Pages: 5

Joyce Carol Oates captures the mind of readers with her fictional piece “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”. The story tells the life of fifteen year old Connie who lives in the suburbs in the early 1960’s, where she is stalked and it is implied to the reader that she was possibly abducted and/or killed. Oates opens a door to readers by letting them know that “everything about her [Connie] had two sides to it, one for home, and one for anywhere that was not home” (315). The author uses Connie’s daydream behavior and various details throughout the story to lead readers to think that this experience was something Connie had dreamt into a reality. Have you ever experienced a dream or a nightmare that seemed like reality or somewhat became …show more content…
It can be argued that it was only half real because every part of the story is talking of Connie and her daydreams. The day Friend comes to her house she was in the backyard daydreaming and hardly knew where she was when she awoke. Rubin attempts to express the idea that when Connie falls asleep in the sun she has a daydream in which her “…intense desire for total sexual experience runs headlong into her innate fear…” (Rubin 58). Different parts of the story do appear almost dreamlike, for instance the way in which the boys in Connie’s daydreams “…dissolved into a single face…” (Oates 316). Also how Friend seemed to “have come from nowhere before that and belonged nowhere and that everything about him…was so familiar to her was only half real.” Which does insinuate that parts of that encounter were unreal and imagined from the fear and confusion Connie felt. However, the idea that the entire story is just a dream does not seem very likely. Though Coulthard says “Absolutely nothing [in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”] occurs that cannot be explained in purely literal terms or that is not best explained” (506). Which makes him believe the story is not a