"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is a story that deals about a little girl named Connie who comes to realize the evils of the world. Connie is a young woman who has not suffered or experienced the troubles of growing up. At the beginning of the story we deal with the sweet innocence of a child who undergoes the thrills of life as she gets out into the world. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" presents a metaphor of young innocence in Connie as she struggles to define a personal identity in the face of opposition, even in the face of being raped and possibly murdered.
The story is based on an article in Life magazine about a Tucson, Arizona, murder. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" deals with the attempts of a young woman who is inexperience. This is proved in the first paragraph and is shown by the comparison of Connie and her mother.
Checking other people's faces to make sure her own was all right. Her mother, who noticed everything and knew everything and hadn't much reason any longer to look at her own face, always scolded Connie about it. "Stop gawking at yourself, who are you? You think you"re so pretty? (Oates 499) .
This passage perfectly depicts how her mother has grown up from once admiring her own face just like Connie, and by growing up has put those childish things aside. You also hear the question, "Who are you?" in a sense that the Connie has yet to deveop your own personality.
Joyce Carol Oates tells "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" from a 3nd point of view. This allows the readers to hear and see what Connie is feeling. As Connie develops throughout the story we can see and feel what she is going through. Oates" "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is very descriptive and reads like a movie in one's mind. Every event, every sound, every scene is crystal clear. As in every good book (or short story in this case) the characters become alive in our heads and help us to understand the nature of the story.