Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
by Joyce Carol Oates
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Sexuality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Paragraph)
She recognized most things about him [...] even that slippery friendly smile of his, that sleepy dreamy smile that all the boys used to get across ideas they didn't want to put into words. [...] But all these things did not come together. (77)
As in the previous quote, Arnold is still presented to us as characteristic of "boys" in general. But outside the familiar context of drive-in restaurants and movies, Connie doesn't know how to react to him.
"Yes, I'm your lover. You don't know what that is, but you will. [...] I'll hold you so tight you won't think you have to try to get away or pretend anything because you'll know you can't. And I'll come inside you where it's all secret and you'll give in to me and you'll love me –" (104)
As the situation escalates, Arnold's language gets more sexually explicit and violent, culminating in the rape scene he describes in this quote. Arnold isn't merely recounting his desire; he is commanding Connie to "give in" and submit to him. Sex is associated here with mastery and control.
She put her hands up against her ears as if she'd heard something terrible, something not meant for her. "People don't talk like that, you're crazy," she muttered. Her heart was almost too big now for her chest and its pumping made sweat break out all over her. (105)
Connie experiences Arnold's sexually explicit talk as itself a kind of violation, a trauma she experiences both physically and psychologically.