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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?


by Joyce Carol Oates

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Summary

How It All Goes Down

It's summer, and 15-year-old Connie spends much of her time lounging around the house, going out with friends, and meeting boys. One night a strange guy makes a threatening gesture to her in the parking lot of a local drive-in restaurant. She thinks nothing of it until one Sunday afternoon, when the rest of her family attends a barbecue at an aunt's house, leaving her home alone.

The strange guy pulls up in her driveway in a gold-colored car, accompanied by a friend. The driver introduces himself as Arnold Friend and asks Connie to join him for a ride. During the course of their conversation, Connie realizes that Arnold is a threat. Arnold's language becomes more sexually explicit and violent, and he threatens to harm her family if she calls the police. Connie makes a last-ditch effort to call the police, but panics and is unable to make the call. In the end, she leaves the house and joins Arnold.

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