From the outset of the story, music symbolizes Connie’s inner life, specifically the pleasure she takes in romantic relationships and romantic ideals themselves. Whenever she goes to the plaza with her friends, music is always playing in the background. Furthermore, she becomes more aware of music when she is experiencing intense moments of pleasure, references music while reflecting on her previous romantic encounters, and becomes absorbed in a music-induced trance. In this way, music is closely tied to her feelings of pleasure and her desire for fulfillment, connection, and escape. Arnold Friend takes advantage of this by using music as a way to trick Connie into believing there is a connection between them. The transistor radio in his car is playing the same music as the radio in her house, and when he draws his X sign in the air, Connie observes it seems that the two sources of music are coming together. Following this, Friend slowly coaxes her out of the safety of her house. In this way, the symbol of music represents not only Connie’s inner life and pleasure, but also Friend’s violent sexual desire and evil intentions. Additionally, Friend’s attempt to seduce Connie through music suggests that pop culture’s portrayal of romance is deceptive, and has left Connie ill equipped to identify Friend’s disturbing behaviour. Ultimately, then, music also comes to hold very sinister connotations.
Music Quotes in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home: her walk, which could be childlike and bobbing, or languid enough to make anyone think she was hearing music in her head; her mouth, which was pale and smirking most of the time, but bright and pink on these evenings out; her laugh, which was cynical and drawling at home—“Ha, ha, very funny”—but highpitched and nervous anywhere else, like the jingling of the charms on her bracelet.
Connie sat with her eyes closed in the sun, dreaming and dazed with the warmth about her as if this were a kind of love, the caresses of love, and her mind slipped over onto thoughts of the boy she had been with the night before and how nice he had been, how sweet it always was […] sweet, gentle, the way it was in movies and promised in songs […]