Where space You Going, Where have actually You Been? Themes The key themes of "Where room You Going, Where have You Been?" are appearance versus reality, the embodiment the evil, and also self-sacrifice.

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Appearance vs. Reality: Both Connie and also Arnold have two-sided natures, presenting an appeal self as soon as necessary and withholding another. However, if Connie"s public and also private personas reflect the intersection of her adolescent naivety and burgeoning sexuality, Arnold Friend"s stylish exterior masks a predatory interior. The embodiment of evil: Arnold friend embodies a greater resource of malevolence than his early stage impression suggests.Self-sacrifice: Connie"s growth as a character occurs with her decision come sacrifice herself because that the sake of she family"s safety.
last Updated ~ above April 7, 2020, through ugandan-news.com Editorial. Indigenous Count: 1016

Appearance vs. Reality

From the start, Connie is noted for she physical beauty, and she trust that component of the resource of friction in between her and also her mother is the her mother “hadn’t lot reason any kind of longer to look at her very own face.” Connie, that knows the she is pretty, therefore feels a type of superiority over both her mother and also her “plain” sister, enjoying capturing a glimpse of herself in mirrors v a concerned giggle. Connie uses her physical beauty to attract boys prefer Eddie, who she meets in ~ the drive-in. She is cautious with the details of her appearance, such as closely crossing her legs at the ankles, to current herself as totally alluring. However it is also noted that “everything about had two political parties to it, one because that home and also one for everywhere that was not home.” if Connie presents herself as sexually alluring in public, at home she to walk in a “childlike” manner and has “pale” lips. In public, she supplies her very closely crafted appearances to mismiss boys from she high college whom she feels carry out not accomplish her standards.


It is Connie’s purposely sensuous appearance the draws the attention of Arnold Friend, who very first notices she at the restaurant. He tells her that he doesn’t like fat women however instead “like lock the way” Connie is. It i do not care clear the Arnold likewise has a two-sided nature yet in a various sense than Connie. As soon as Arnold very first arrives in ~ Connie’s house, Connie believes the he is just an additional boy and only realizes later in the conversation that he is at the very least thirty, a reality he tries to camouflage v tight jeans, animal leather boots, and sunglasses. Arnold friend will only admit to gift eighteen. In ~ this allude Connie begins to feeling that she is in real trouble. By the moment Connie realizes the Arnold Friend’s “whole confront a mask,” she illusions around him have actually dissipated entirely.

Connie ultimately realizes that the seductive illustration she has actually crafted has actually endangered her. As Arnold Friend’s initial—albeit odd—friendliness starts to loss away, Connie realizes the he intends come steal she away v mysterious purposes in mind. Back Connie has actually seen her beauty as a source of power, at some point it is the source of she downfall in the it has attracted the “special interest” of Arnold Friend. In Arnold’s final talked words, that calls Connie his “sweet tiny blue-eyed girl,” even though her eyes space actually brown, further blurring the present of reality and also appearance.

The Embodiment the Evil

At the really least, Arnold friend is Connie’s abductor. Yet there are many clues throughout the story the Arnold friend is something beyond human. Although Connie notes that she never shares her name through him, he already knows it. He likewise knows she sister’s name and that of many of her friends. However what provides Arnold girlfriend seem many otherworldly is his knowledge of what Connie’s family is doing in ~ the really moment when he come to abduct her:

“Right currently they"re uh—they"re drinking. Sit around," he claimed vaguely, squinting together if he were staring every the means to town and over come Aunt Tillie"s earlier yard. Then the vision seemed to get clear and he nodded energetically. "Yeah. Sitting around. There"s your sister in a blue dress, huh? and high heels, the bad sad bitch—nothing prefer you, sweetheart! and also your mother"s helping part fat woman with the corn, they"re cleaning the corn—husking the corn—"

Arnold friend is details that Connie’s father will certainly not come to rescue her. Together his actions flourish increasingly sinister, Connie invokes the surname of Christ, although the is provided that her family members never “bothered with church.” It appears that Connie is compelled come juxtapose goodness versus the evil which now surrounds her, however even her attempts come invoke the name of Christ “sounded forced.” Arnold girlfriend wobbles in his boots, wears “a mask” of make-up, and has “tarlike” lashes. As Connie threatens to call the police, Arnold Friend just asks her, “Don’t you understand who i am?” This reduces Connie to a whisper, and she automatically begins distancing it s her from Arnold Friend. It appears that this is not just a malicious man who has come because that Connie yet rather the embodiment of angry itself. This reinforces the idea that evil can manifest anywhere and also at any type of time—often to the hinderance of those who temporarily let their guard down.


At the beginning of the story, Connie is presented together a superficial adolescent girl who only cares around her looks and also the attention it garners from boys her age. Yet she undergoes a dramatic character revolution through her conflict with Arnold Friend, who threatens to harm her household if she does no follow him to his car:

“You come out right here nice favor a lady and also give me her hand, and also nobody else gets hurt, i mean, your nice old bald-headed daddy and your mummy and also your sisters in she high heels. Because listen: why bring them in this?"

Connie virtually immediately realizes the she will sacrifice herself to save her family, who will never know that she has done so. This currently reduces her to screams which ring throughout her house, and she sobs until she is soaking wet. This is the moment of Connie’s character transformation, and also there is a sort of fatality in the acceptance; she feels the “Arnold friend stabbing she again and again through no tenderness.” when she totally accepts her fate, she rises to accomplish Arnold Friend and also her fate. Probably the greatest testament to the full transformation of her character is that Arnold friend tells her that she is “better than them because not a among them would have actually done this because that .” Connie’s self-sacrifice does not count on noþeles she will obtain in return. Instead, she accepts pain and also suffering for a family members who has not shown her good love and who maybe would not have actually spared her had they been offered the very same choice.

See more: Which Of The Following Best Encapsulates Autobiographical Memory?

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