Study Guide

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Tough-o-Meter

By Joyce Carol Oates


(3) Base Camp

"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is a short story written in readable, contemporary English – nothing arcane, no special vocabulary. We're giving it a "3" instead of "1" on the Tough-o-Meter because, despite its stylistic simplicity, it deals with some difficult and troubling themes such as sexual violence, the existence of evil, the nature of free will, and all that heavy stuff.