Conflicts in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”

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Conflicts in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”

In the story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, numerous conflicts are present. The main protagonist is Connie a character who experiences several conflicts with the other characters. The main types of conflicts evident are both external and internal conflicts.

External Conflicts

The external conflicts are numerous in the story. Some of these conflicts are; when Connie’s conflicts with her mother. According to the mother Connie is messy and cheap, and thus she criticizes her for keeping her room untidy. She is also seen to conflict with her sister. The conflict with her sister arises in that she regards her as being too “plain” and cannot see the need for being popular and “hip” (Oates, p.11). Connie sees her mother and sister being too traditional and therefore affecting her independence.

Internal Conflicts

Connie lacks time to clean her room due to mixed-up thoughts in her mind. While she is outside lying in the sun, she daydreams with sensual images. When it gets too hot, she goes inside where she turns the radio on “to mask out the quiet” (Oates, p.7). Also, Connie tends to experience her first somber nervousness on the arrival of Arnold Friend. She becomes worried when she looks at Friend’s car. These circumstances show Connie’s internal conflicts.

Works Cited

Oates, Joyce Carol, and Tobias Wolff. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?. Difusión, Centro de Investigación y Pubicaciones de Idiomas, 2013.