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Escape in Where Are you Going, Where Have you Been? Essay


Ill huff and puff until I blow your house down. This quote is from the well known fairytale of the Three Little Pigs. The big bad wolf goes around blowing down the pigs house of sticks and straw. Only the house of bricks withstood the wolfs fury. In the end the reader can interpret that when time, patience, and hard work will provide a better off result the laziness and getting things done the easy way. Although there is a moral behind this story it is still a story for your entertainment; a type of escape literature. Joyce Carol Oates Where are you Going, Where Have you Been? is an example of interpretive literature. It gives the reader the insight on human nature, behavior, and what they are truly capable of: conning, persuasion, lying, and rape.

Connie, the main character, is a fifteen year old teen seeking attention and an identity. When Connie is at home she dresses and acts like the conservative fifteen year old girl that she is; however, when she leaves the house she changes her appearance and acts like an older girl to draw the attention of older men. Her flirtatious nature draws the attention of many older men. She lies about where she goes and who shes with and its all to get the attention she feels she needs; the attention she lacks when shes at home. One night out, she meets a man, the big bad wolf, who is suave and manipulative. He wait for the opportune time to attack Connie, the little pig.

Connies parents and sister leave to attend a barbecue and she stays behind. The big bad wolf, Arnold Friend, arrives in his gold painted jalopy with another man. Connie runs to the front door to see who came and shes the man. She notices that he is listening to her favorite radio station. The music desensitizes Connie and comforts her. Arnold Friend uses his smooth talk and persuasive motions and gestures to get what he desires. Arnold Friend, the big bad wolf, has is own sinister and malicious plot and uses comforting and suave mannerisms to make Connie vulnerable and trust him. Connie willingly falls for his con and is taken on a ride and is raped in a meadow.

Where Are you Going, Where Have you Been? provides the reader with the insight to the dark and sinister side of what a human being is truly capable of. It provides the reader with a sense of wary and caution when approached by a smooth talking facade. This short story is an paradigm for interpretive literature, providing the awareness of how something good may not always be good.

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