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"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"
The Second Chance She Never Had
As a fifteen year old teenage girl, Connie does not know how to effectively interpret the dangers that life brings. Connie reaches the age in her life where she starts to hold an excessive amount of responsibilities in a short-period of time. With her responsibilities comes the excitement of how she is going to have fun with her transition into adulthood. Connie is living a life negatively influenced by her parents, beauty, and her youth.
Connie’s mother will often blatantly compare Connie’s sister’s higher maturity level with Connie. Connie’s mother is affected by the fact that Connie is as beautiful as she used to be when she was younger. It seems as if Connie’s mother loves Connie’s sister more than Connie, causing Connie to feel a sense of discouragement whenever she is around her mother. One may suggest that Connie has a father to approach for advice, but he spends a majority of his time at work, and when he gets home he is usually either reading a newspaper or eating his supper. When Connie looks at her parents, one may perceive that she views herself in the younger life of her mother. She perceives her father as the man who does not try to get involved with his family’s life when he is home from work. If her parents were more attentive to Connie’s life, they would have a better idea of what trouble Connie can get into. Connie’s main problem as a teenager is that she needs a more parental involvement in her life especially now that her body is developing adult features.
The huge responsibility that Connie holds is the fact that she is starting to develop adult features on her body and do not know what to do with it. When people look at her, they see a very pretty girl. This is where the problem starts to develop into a life threatening situation.
When Arnold goes out to a restaurant with her friends, she met a man whom she thought was of her age. After three hours of talking to each other, Connie accepts his request to ride in his car. Once she is in Arnold’s car, Arnold is in control and could go anywhere and do whatever he wants to her. He could be a rapist, a serial kill, a sex trafficker, or just plain crazy. She basically put unnecessary trust in a male stranger. Her first major mistake may have led her to die or lose her innocence. Gladly, she was driven back to her friends safely. The message that grabs one’s attention is when Arnold says, “Gonna get you, baby,” to Connie while she was in his car.
Since she is so young, she may not have known the meaning of his message mainly because the thought of how pretty she looks and the fact that there are men in this world that will do anything to destroy her innocence is not thought of. Connie’s way of going about life is very typical for a teenager her age, so one should not blame her for her action for she needs guidance in her path through life. When Connie encounters Arnold at her house, she becomes afraid of what might happen next. She becomes too afraid to go deeper in the house with the fear that Arnold might come in the house. She is near the kitchen where there are knives and she did not think about grabbing one because she is too young to think straight under pressure and is unable to think of a life as being dangerous.
Ultimately, the desire for parental guidance is essential to a young beautiful teenager who is beginning to mature into an adult is coherent to the dangers that lurk in the vast and despicable world. There are many girls who have been able to learn from their mistakes, but Connie is one of the unlucky one who suffers a great deal of strife to a man who could care less for the innocence of the little girl. The next time one have a child, make sure to have rules, punishments, and most importantly someone to monitor the child to keep him or her out of potential dangers that can be avoided simply with knowledge.
Oates, Joyce Carol. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been.” Literature: An
Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing 2005, 2007, 2010. United States: Gioia,
Dana and Kennedy , X.J.. Print.