Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

by

Joyce Carol Oates

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Connie’s House Symbol Analysis

Connie’s House Symbol Icon

For the majority of the story, Connie is standing inside the house and Arnold Friend is trying to convince her to come outside. Slowly, both Connie and the reader come to understand that if she leaves the house, Friend will take her away with him and rape her, perhaps even murder her. The house, then, comes to represent Connie’s adolescent innocence and the safety both her family life and status as a child provides her with. Though there is nothing to stop Friend from forcing his way into the house, it seems he cannot enter it himself, but instead has to slowly manipulate Connie in to leaving it of her own free will. In this way, it seems to function as a barrier between her current state of naivete, and the carnal, disturbing knowledge that Friend wishes to force on her.

Connie’s House Quotes in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? quotes below all refer to the symbol of Connie’s House. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Collins edition of Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? published in 2006.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Quotes

Arnold Friend was saying from the door, “That's a good girl. Put the phone back.” […] She picked it up and put it back. The dial tone stopped. “That's a good girl. Now, you come outside.” […] She thought, I'm not going to see my mother again. She thought, I'm not going to sleep in my bed again.

Related Characters: Arnold Friend (speaker), Connie, Connie’s Mother
Related Symbols: Connie’s House
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:

“My sweet little blue-eyed girl,” he said in a half-sung sigh that had nothing to do with her brown eyes but was taken up just the same by the vast sunlit reaches of the land behind him and on all sides of him—so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to it.

Related Characters: Arnold Friend (speaker), Connie
Related Symbols: Connie’s House
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:
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Connie’s House Symbol Timeline in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

The timeline below shows where the symbol Connie’s House appears in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Because it’s summer vacation, Connie is spending a lot of time around the house, dreaming about boys and the excitement of summer, while her mother continually gives her things... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Agency, Control, and Manipulation Theme Icon
The Presence of Evil  Theme Icon
Music and Romantic Fantasy Theme Icon
...won’t give her a straight answer. Instead, he continues to pressure her to leave her house and come for a ride. When Connie again refuses, he takes off his sunglasses, and... (full context)
Agency, Control, and Manipulation Theme Icon
Music and Romantic Fantasy Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence  Theme Icon
...Friend tells him to shut up. Friend tells Connie that he won’t come into the house unless she touches the telephone, and that she “won’t want that.” When Connie tries to... (full context)
Agency, Control, and Manipulation Theme Icon
The Presence of Evil  Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence  Theme Icon
Friend repeats that that Connie should come out of the house herself, before asking “Don’t you know who I am?” and telling her, “You come out... (full context)
Agency, Control, and Manipulation Theme Icon
The Presence of Evil  Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence  Theme Icon
...up and come toward him, and she obeys. As he coaxes her out of the house, Connie watches herself in the third person. Once she is outside, Friend croons, “My sweet... (full context)