"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" by Joyce Carol Oates.

Essay by TickleMeEmyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2003

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As teenagers begin to grow and mature, their emerging sexuality becomes quite evident. Both girls and boys began to realize that members of the opposite sex are not icky and do not have "cooties." Beginning with holding hands, relationships begin to develop. This jump into adulthood and maturity is a positive occurrence. However this emerging sexuality has a dark side. Hormones spread like fire, often leading teenagers to go beyond simple kisses. Temptation surrounds teenagers, especially teenage girls. The desire for rebellion is also evident, and extreme sexuality is extremely rebellious. In addition, the world is filled with rapists and murderers. These rapists often strive to lead young girls on the path of rebellion and temptation, the dark side of sexuality. The sexual theme is often hidden in literature, and the darker sexual theme is often ignored. Joyce Carol Oates went beyond the typical expectations of society and wrote a short story with such a theme.

"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" is based on the serial killer Charles Schmid, who was also known as the Pied Piper of Tucson. Charles Schmid was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of three teenage girls. Joyce Carol Oates brought him to life using the character Arnold Friend. In the story, the author also reveals the immense influence music has on teenagers, and partly based the story on a song written by Bob Dylan, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue." Themes from the song, as well as the true story of Charles Schmid, are clearly evident in the story, as well as references to the effect of music on the younger generation. Connie, the main character and protagonist in the story, was a fifteen-year-old girl with a budding interest in boys and an emerging sexual desire. Arnold...