Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, ..." Book Review by Rhapsode

Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, ..."
This paper discusses the theme of exploitation of popular culture in the short story by Joyce Carol Oates "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been".
# 102600 | 1,335 words | 1 source | MLA | 2006 | CA

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This paper explains that In Joyce Carol Oates' popular short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been", the seduction of the teenage Connie by Arnold Friend is accomplished through his exploitation of the ideology that was transmitted through the medium of popular rock music. The author points out that the story is set in the American 1950s against the backdrop of drive-ins, the ever-present music conveys a superficial understanding of romantic relationships that forms the basis of Connie's understanding of her emerging sexuality. The paper relates that the prevalence of music in the text lends a mythological or fairy-tale quality to the narrative, which in large part describes the seduction to take place. The paper concludes that, due to the prevalence of a superficial understanding of the world and human relationships that is constructed by pop music culture, Friend is able to use the ideals of such songs as an illusion for his predatory nature.

From the Paper:

"Arnold Friend disguises himself in the clothing and mannerisms of the youth of the period, but does so in a manner that seeks not only to imitate others but to embody the ideals projected through the music. His arrival at Connie's house is connected to the music that Connie has been listening to inside her room, immediately creating an illusion of common interest: his transistor radio play "the same program that was playing inside the house." This serves to draw Connie out, initiating a brief discussion of the DJ that is on. Friend appears just a shade different enough from the other boys to create interest."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Oates, Joyce Carol. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Ed. Showalter, Elaine. Rutger's University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1994. pp. 23-49

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, ..." (2008, March 30) Retrieved October 17, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, ..."" 30 March 2008. Web. 17 October. 2019. <>