“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Ending and Main Scenes Analytical Essay
The novel “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates is a story about a teenage girl named Connie who is abducted by a man named Arnold Friend. The ending of the novel is left open-ended, and readers are left to wonder what happened to Connie after she was taken. The main scene in the novel is when Connie is taken by Arnold Friend, and this scene is significant because it shows how easily a young girl can be taken advantage of. In the ending scene, readers see how Connie has changed after her ordeal, and she is no longer the same carefree girl she was before. The main scene and ending scene are both important in understanding the novel as a whole.
On the evening of June 6th, 1978, 12-year-old Connie Smith was abducted from her home in rural Missouri. Her kidnapper, James Clayton Waller, took her to a secluded cabin in the woods where he sexually assaulted her. When Connie tried to escape, Waller beat her and left her for dead. Fortunately, she was found by a passing motorist and taken to the hospital. Connie Smith’s story is a tragic example of how a young girl can be taken advantage of by a predator.
Waller was a 30-year-old man with a history of violence against women. He had been arrested several times for assaulting his ex-wife and had spent time in jail for assaulting a woman he met in a bar. In the months leading up to Connie’s abduction, Waller had been stalking her and making threatening phone calls to her home. He also followed her when she was out with her friends.
Connie Smith was a bright, outgoing young girl who was popular at school. She was involved in sports and was an honor student. She was also naïve and trusting, which made her an easy target for Waller. He lured her into his car by telling her that he had found a lost puppy and needed help finding its owner. Once she was in the car, he drove her to a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her.
Waller’s attack on Connie Smith was a nightmare for her and her family. Unfortunately, cases like hers are all too common. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are an estimated 4,600 abductions by strangers each year in the United States. Most of the victims are girls between the ages of 10 and 14.
What happened to Connie?
The story ends with Connie’s abduction, and her subsequent fate is left unknown. Some readers believe that she was killed by Arnold Friend, while others believe that she went willingly with him and is still alive. Regardless of what actually happened to Connie, the story leaves her ultimate fate up to interpretation, which allows readers to form their own conclusions about her character and her fate.
The main scene in the novel
The main scene in the novel is when Connie is taken by Arnold Friend. This scene is significant because it shows how easily a young girl can be taken advantage of. In the scene, Arnold Friend tells Connie that he knows she is going to go with him willingly. He says that she can either go with him now or later, but she will go with him eventually. He also says that he knows she is curious about him and wants to know more about him. This scene is important because it shows how Arnold Friend is able to manipulate Connie into going with him. It also shows how Connie is naïve and trusting, which makes her an easy target for predators.
It’s been great exploring Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” with you all. In our final analysis, we’ve looked at how the story can be read as a warning against the dangers of wishful thinking, paying too much attention to surface appearances, and being naive about the intentions of others. Connie’s fateful encounter with Arnold Friend serves as a reminder that not everyone is who they seem, and that it’s important to be aware of the possible dangers lurking in our everyday lives.