The dramatic irony of â€œWhere Are You Going, Where Have You Been? â€ conveys the tone of warning about temptation. Connieâ€™s situation is that she does not feel appreciated at home and uses her looks and actions to get attention and appreciation from boys even if it is short-term. She is self-conscious about her looks and is constantly worried about how other people perceive her. Friendâ€™s fantasy is that Connie will willingly go with him and be his â€œloverâ€ (605) even before he officially met her.The reality of the situation is that she does not want to go with this strange man, but is being forced into it because of her fear, which makes her weak and submissive. Connie is fifteen years old and obviously self-conscious because of the love that she never receives at home. Her whole life revolves around attention from boys since she does not feel loved at home. Her sister June appears to be the favorite in the family, as she receives all of the positive attention. Connie's mother doesnâ€™t speak kindly to Connie or about Connie, and Connie doesn't think well of her mother either.Her father does whatever he can to please Connie but doesnâ€™t seek for a good father-daughter relationship. They never talk about what is happening in their lives and act as if they are only acquaintances. Connie wants to appear older and wiser than she actually is and her head is always full of meaningless daydreams to help her cope. Her promiscuity leads to attraction from boys and older men where she becomes terrified and realizes that she is not as grown up as she thought.Connie comes face to face with the harshreality of being forced into adulthood at the age of fifteen because of the special attention of Arnold Friend. 2 Arnold Friend is a smooth talker and has a great influence on the actions of his victims. His word choice appeals to teenagers as does his clothing. He is a short and stocky guy who stuffs his boots to make him seem taller and wears a leather jacket to look young and desirable to teenage girls. The fact that his feet do not touch the bottom of his boots alludes to the devilâ€™s hoofs, significant in that he resembles the devilâ€™s ability to deceive. Donâ€™t hem in on me. Donâ€™t hog. Donâ€™t crush. Donâ€™t bird dog. Donâ€™t trail meâ€ (608) are slang that he rattles off because he momentarily forgets what sayings are popular so he reconciles by making them up on his own. He has a moment when he breaks down in front of Connie and starts to lose his cool, calm, and collected personality showing his panic in possibly not being able to get his way. This shows that he is narrow-minded and does not settle for anything that he does not approve of.His main focus is on retrieving girls for rape and murder and always goes for the attention-seeking personalities to make it easier to reach this goal. Friend is living a fantasy, while Connie asserts the reality of the situation. When these worlds mix, it is obvious that Connie does not have control and Friend becomes dominant. Friendâ€™s alternate world is made up of his desire to have â€œdatesâ€ and â€œloversâ€ (605) when in actuality, he forces women to show him affection by kidnapping them, raping them, and then killing them.Friendâ€™s forceful words show how he is caught in this dream of what Connie is going to do with him and how perfectly it will all work out in the end when in all actuality, Connie has no intention of willingly going with him. He continuously harps on the fact that he is going to get his way because he insists that his dreams are true. Every time he talks about his fantasy, Connie has a bold statement declaring that she is willing to fight against his dream and 3 bring it back down to a reality as she tries to reason with him. Friend has the gift of persuasion where his greatest tools for manipulation are his words.He â€œpromisesâ€ (607) that he will not harm Connie as long as she does not follow through with what he considers threatening. Connie separates her mind from her body because she suddenly loses control. She is used to being on top and empowered but Friend comes along and takes over. The dramatic irony, during the course of their conversation, implies that Connie was in control of the situation to begin with, but Friend managed to obtain ultimate control of the situation by having her succumb to his power. Modern culture promotes having fun and doing what feels good in the moment.Connie has poor communication with her family, shown by her rebellious behavior and lack of respect for her parents. She chooses to distance herself from her family which results in them not being there when she needs them the most. Parents are supposed to be protectors and leaders in their childrenâ€™s lives and when these key aspects are not present, a window is opened for the victimization of youth. The consequences of such situations result in a predicament like Connieâ€™s and becomes an immense concern for the effects that modern culture has on youth. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been â€œWhere are you going, Where have you been:â€ The Mediaâ€™s effect on youth In this 1966 short story written by Joyce Carol Oates, fifteen-year-old Connie is a self-absorbed teenager who spends her time fantasizing about romance and searching for attention from men. While out with a suitor, a strange man promises her, â€œI'm gonna get you, babyâ€ (2). Connie doesn't think much of the incident until one day while alone at home; the man comes to â€œgetâ€ her. The assailant, Arnold Friend, is kind at first then progressively becomes aggressive and violent towards her.Though at first she enjoys Arnoldâ€™s attention, once his demands become sexual and violent, her confidence diminishes. While Connie attempts to evade Arnoldâ€™s commands, she becomes powerless against the man and eventually follows him to â€œgo for a rideâ€ (3). While â€œWhere are you going, Where have you been,â€ appears to simply be a tragic story about the abduction and rape of a young girl, it is more importantly a statement of the time on the over-sexualization in the media.From the time period the story was written, the 1960â€™s, we know that society as a whole was exploding with counter-culture and rebellion. In response to the Vietnam War, for the first time in history, music rapidly became highly influential and that of a sexual nature. This first wave of over-sexualized media is what influenced Connie and millions of the time to exploit their sexuality. The youth of the time period are commonly thought of as being extremely responsive to the world around them.With music being more suggestive than in the past and young people being more expressive and experimental, Connie grew up in a drastically changing world complete with the need to be sexual and to really stand out in order to be noticed. Media became more widespread and important in the 60â€™s than it had ever been before. When the TV and radio werenâ€™t focusing on the war efforts in Vietnam, they showed the youthâ€™s protest, and push to â€œMake Love, Not War:â€ an iconic phrase that illustrates the push towards sexuality during that time.Connie, an adolescent of this explosive period, is a prime example of sexualization in the media having a detrimental effect on a person. It is her need to be desired that makes her appealing to Arnold Friend, and leads to her demise later in the story. Music is a major theme in the story: Connie constantly listens to music and associates music with pleasure in multiple instances. At one point, she even says she â€œlistened to the music that made everything so goodâ€ (2). Upon Arnoldâ€™s arrival we see that he is listening to the same music as Connie, which serves as a way to connect them.Since music plays such a prevalent role in Connieâ€™s life, we can conclude that music is the media that influences her to behave in a sexual manner. From the music that she listens to, Bobby King, we get the impression that she links her idea of romance (that derives from the music she listens to) to the confidence and maturity she pretends to have when it comes to boys. Music plays in every situation where she intends to be sexually desired; while out with boys, out with her friend searching for attention, while laying out in her backyard, and even at the beginning of her conversation with Arnold.Music and Connieâ€™s sexuality are inextricable tied togetherâ€“once Connie becomes frightened of Arnold and is no longer exploiting her sexuality, there is no further mention of music in the story. While it is understood that Arnold will most likely harm Connie, he also is whisking her away (or saving her) from a morally loose societyâ€“that very same society that made her the over-sexualized girl we see in the beginning of the story.Everything about Connie indicates that she has been socialized into how the media thinks a young girl should beâ€“from her suggestive clothing to her desperate attempt to be sexually desirable to the male population. Despite what she leads on, Connie is actually sexually innocent. Her innocence is echoed by her child-like naivety of opening her front door to a complete stranger while alone, as well as the fear that consumes her while she could have been calling the police to prevent her murder.Arnoldâ€™s desire for the young Connie may be Oatesâ€™ way of portraying how perverse the mediaâ€™s ploy to sexualize Americaâ€™s youth is as well. The â€œLolita Effectâ€ is even a relatively recent concept. A â€œlolitaâ€ is a young girl who is viewed in a sexual manner, while the â€œlolita effectâ€ is not only the corruption of a child by an adult, but exploiting an adult by a child that has been corrupted by society. Connie exploits her sexuality so well in the beginning of the story. It is her sexualization at such a young age that causes Arnold to find her attractive and is the real life tragedy that comes from the story.By the end of the story, as the title suggests, Connie undergoes a major change. She ties to be an adult, but when Arnold challenges her with sexual advances, we see the frightened child she is. Arnold is merely an agent to portray the evils that exist in the media. He illuminates the fact that our cultureâ€™s media gives young girls the unattainable idea that they must behave in a certain way in order to be attractive, and that a man finding them sexually attractive is of upmost importance even as a pre-teen.The sexualization of young girls causes adult men to be attracted to them, creating an even further over-sexualized society. A young girlâ€™s sexuality is such a vital aspect of the maturation process: a process that is malfunctioning or happening far too soon because of the media. It is the evil in the media that causes Connie to fall victim to the mediaâ€™s harmful portrayal of femininity. Media teaches us that being a typical young woman in todayâ€™s society is contingent on the amount of sexuality her appearance exudes.Connie so perfectly replicates how young girls in America that are being over-sexualized through music or television without even being aware of it. The tragic way that Connie is stripped of her childhood suggests that â€œwhere you are going,â€ is dependent on where you have been. In â€œWhere are you going, Where have you been? â€ Oatesâ€™ does a terrific job of hyperbolizing the affects of the mediaâ€™s influence while pointing out the very unexaggerated truth that over-sexualization in the media is detrimental to all aspects of society.
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