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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

by Joyce Carol Oates

Family Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"Stop gawking at yourself. Who are you? You think you're so pretty?" (1)

Connie's mother doesn't seem too interested in Connie's self-esteem. Maybe she is jealous and feels the need to take her down a notch.

Quote #2

[B]ut now her looks were gone and that was why she was always after Connie. (1)

This passage suggests a tragic rivalry between mother and daughter, when they should be friends.

Quote #3

Connie's mother kept picking at her until Connie wished her mother was dead and she herself was dead and it was all over. (3)

A weird parallel is suggested here between Connie's mother and Arnold, between the family structure and sexual violence. Connie's mother's "picking" kills off, psychologically, Connie's very desire to live, in much the same way that Arnold's constant badgering convinces Connie to leave with him at the end of the story.

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