Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
by Joyce Carol Oates
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Freedom and Confinement Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Paragraph)
Arnold Friend said, in a gentle-loud voice that was like a stage voice, "The place where you came from ain't there any more, and where you had in mind to go is cancelled out. This place you are now – inside your daddy's house – is nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down any time." (151)
Unlike in the second quote above, the home is now associated with shelter and protection from sexual predators – and not very good protection at that. Arnold's threat works by way of restricting Connie's mobility, so that she has no choice but to go where he's going.
She thought for the first time in her life that it was nothing that was hers, that belonged to her, but just a pounding, living thing inside this body that wasn't really hers either. (155)
At this late point in the story, Connie is so alienated from herself that her own body feels like a kind of prison.
She watched herself push the door slowly open as if she were back safe somewhere in the other doorway, watching this body and this head of long hair moving out into the sunlight where Arnold Friend waited. (160)
This passage continues the splitting up of Connie's self that we saw in the previous quote. Here Connie seems to be floating above her body as if she were having an out-of-body experience. Interestingly, it's only at this point that Connie finally steps across the threshold of her house into the outside world.