13 October 2018
Joyce Carols’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is a story that is based in modern times about a high school teenage girl who lives at home with her family and meets with a mysterious man who shows up randomly at her home one Sunday afternoon. The setting seemed to take place in a suburban neighborhood while a young girl was at home alone, while her family was away at a barbecue. As the story progresses, Carol takes us scene by scene through the conversation and interaction between the young girl and the mysterious man who shows up at her door. Carol makes the reader feel as if they are right there on the porch, watching, listening, waiting, as the conversation progresses from small talk to great fear.
As I read “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” there seemed to be two main characters. One being Connie and the other being Arnold Friend. Connie was your average high school girl who lived at home with her parents and sister. Connie seemed to really care about her looks and she knew she was pretty. Connie’s mother who noticed everything always criticized Connie when she would catch her looking in the mirror at herself, “Connie would raise her eyebrows at these familiar complaints and look right through her mother, into a shadowy vision of herself as she was right at that moment: she knew she was pretty and that was everything” (308). As I continued to read I envisioned Connie to be someone with a medium height and a slender build. I imagined her with thick, long dirty blond hair that fell to the middle of her back and a straight perfect smile. She seemed to be like someone who took care of themselves. Connie was your average teenager, hated being at home and always acted one-way towards her family verses being out with her friends and acting the opposite way. Connie discussed a lot how she despised her family, especially her older sister, but deep down I feel like she really did not hate them but instead just was annoyed on how they always criticized her and what she was doing. Connie seems like a shy girl who just craves attention from people.
Arnold Friend being the next main character seemed very dark and mysterious. Arnold Friend was described as having black shaggy hair and wore sunglasses to hide is mysterious face. Connie seemed to be scared yet attracted to him as she described him wearing tight dark jeans, with boots, and a white shirt that showed his muscles. Arnold Friend seemed cool and collected but was very serious and stern. The way he described to Connie about her family and what they were doing at the exact moment, “Aunt Tillie’s. Right now they’re-uh-they’re drinking. Sitting around” (306) made him seem eerie and almost as if he were fake, as in not real, and just an imaginary figure Connie was just seeing.
In “Where Are ...