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Course Hero. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Study Guide." February 9, 2017. Accessed January 17, 2019.


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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? | Discussion Questions 11 - 20


What is the importance of Connie's relationship with Eddie in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

Connie's relationship with Eddie is extremely superficial and shows that she is "in love with love," that is, with a fantasy about love that she has yet to experience. Connie and Betty go to the drive-in restaurant to meet boys. When Eddie approaches, the girls are sitting at the counter, and he sits on his stool "turning himself jerkily." There is no conversation other than his asking Connie "if she would like something to eat." With these words Connie is off with him on her own. The only words Connie says to Eddie express concern for leaving Betty alone. Experienced at this ritual, Eddie says she wouldn't be alone for long, recognizing Betty will be picked up for the evening. At this point Eddie is referred to as "the boy." He is not special, just the evening's entertainment. Connie's joy as she walked to Eddie's car with him has "nothing to do with Eddie." When the evening ends, they are content with their time together, and he drops her off without an exchange of goodbyes or promises of further meetings. Their encounter is over; it has happened before and will happen again, so Connie thinks, with someone else.

How does the drive-in restaurant in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" show Connie's priorities?

Connie, along with Betty, runs across a highway to the drive-in restaurant and arrives breathless. As they enter the restaurant, the girls are excited and have great expectations, and go in as if "entering a sacred building ... to give them what haven and blessing they yearned for." The background music adds to their joy and sense of expectation and hope; "like music at a church service; it was something to depend upon." The drive-in restaurant for Connie represents not only an outlet for her adolescent fantasies but a place of "worship," for Connie worships what the drive-in restaurant is about: music, boys, and youth. She revels in the environment and the attention she receives there, allowing Connie to be the sophisticated girl she most desires to be.

How does the drive-in restaurant foreshadow Connie's fate in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

When they arrive at the drive-in restaurant, Connie and Betty are overjoyed, as they navigate the maze of parked and cruising cars to the brightly lit place, their faces pleased and expectant. It seems to hold the promise of everything the girls dream of. When they leave at 11 p.m., Connie, sleepy and pleased, looks back at the drive-in restaurant; she sees a "darkened shopping plaza with its big empty parking lot" and its signs that are "faded and ghostly." The music is no longer audible. Arnold Friend was there at the beginning of the evening, but the ghostly image is all that remains of her dreams. When Arnold Friend reappears in his gold car, Connie's world is light and expectant, but like the evening when she met him, it soon darkens.

What is the significance of June's question to Connie about the movie in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

June's question is quoted indirectly; in fact June has no direct dialogue in the story. Her question is important because it is the only question anyone asks Connie about her evening. It represents a moment, limited to a one-sentence paragraph in the story, of concern and interest. Connie, however, does not respond enthusiastically or show interest in her sister. While Connie looks down on and resents June, the feelings do not appear mutual. Whether June asks her sister about her evening out of concern or curiosity, she clearly recognizes her sister's budding sexuality and knows what could happen when Connie goes out.

Why does Arnold Friend insist he will not enter Connie's house in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

Arnold tells Connie that he will not enter her house, saying, "I'm not coming in there but you are coming out." Arnold's insistence is an allusion to the legend that a vampire cannot enter a human home unless he has been invited in. The story offers several clues linking Arnold's identity to a demonic being. He "put a sign in the air," an X, when he first saw Connie; he is omniscient, able to describe exactly what is happening at the barbecue the family is attending; his feet "don't go all the way down" in his boots, like a devil's hooves. In addition Connie's sexuality is only on display when she is outside the home. In order for Arnold to prey on her sexually he must lure her out.

In "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"what does Connie see and think about when she awakens from her daydream, and why are these visions significant?

When Connie's family goes away for the day, leaving her home alone, Connie falls into a daydream. She dreams of the "boy she had been with the night before and how nice he had been." When Connie opens her eyes, she initially has trouble recognizing where she is. But a moment passes, and she notices problems with her house: that it is made of asbestos and that "it looked small." Connie's daydreaming and waking visions show how she longs for independence. She sees the house and the people within, her parents and sister, as holding her back. It is just beyond the "fence-like line of trees" that "the sky was perfectly blue." If only one of the boys could take her away from her house where she feels cooped up and restrained, Connie feels she would be happy. These visions are significant because moments later Arnold Friend arrives at Connie's house, driving his gold car, playing music Connie likes, and offering a means of escape from the unappealing and restrictive aspects of her house and her life. Despite her fear she is somewhat attracted to him, and he is able to take advantage of her.

How does Connie show her lack of experience when she dreams of boys in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

When Connie daydreams of a boy she met the previous night, she thinks how nice he was and "how sweet it always was." She is convinced she is experienced and wise about boys and love, particularly when she compares herself to June. However, when Connie says being with boys is similar to "the way it was in movies and promised in songs," she shows herself to be more naive than her sister. Connie has no concept of relationships with men beyond the innocent teenage boys she meets at the drive-in restaurant, with whom she eats hamburgers and engages in rudimentary sexual behavior. Her knowledge of song lyrics and movies in which people live happily gives her no preparation for a predator. She sees sex through the lens of a romantic fantasy, increasing her vulnerability.

In "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" how does Connie initially react when Arnold Friend shows up at her house?

Connie is home alone when she hears a car in the driveway. She is surprised and confused as she expects her father (and the rest of the family) to be away from home for hours at the family barbecue. When Connie sees the gold car is unfamiliar, "Her heart [begins] to pound," she checks her hair, and she wonders "how bad she looked." Her first thought on seeing Arnold Friend is that a boy in a gold car has come to court her and she needs to look her best for him. She thinks nothing about danger, about his being uninvited, and who he might be. Instead, she sees a boy who may be the answer to her dreams and who will take her away from her dull home life.

What is the significance of Arnold Friend's first words to Connie when he arrives at her house in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

On arriving at Connie's house in his gold car, Arnold Friend says to Connie, "I ain't late, am I?" This statement, understandably, confuses Connie as she has not invited him and does not even know who he is. She has merely dreamed that a boy might come and take her away. However, Arnold Friend says he has been dreaming of Connie since he saw her at the drive-in restaurant. For Arnold this meeting has been inevitable; he has been planning and scheming to make it happen. He does not look at his arrival as an unexpected drop-in but as a completion of Connie's fate.

How does Connie's initial reaction to Arnold Friend contrast with his expectations in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

Connie has met many boys in the past and has had brief and casual experiences with them, stopping short of real sex. She is used to playing a type of game with the boys at the drive-in restaurant, and she treats Arnold Friend the same way. She believes in acting uninterested, as women often do in movies, so she will seem more desirable. Connie speaks "sullenly, careful to show no interest or pleasure." Arnold Friend, on the other hand, has studied the way teens behave as he hangs out at the drive-in restaurant. Connie's game has little effect on him; he knows what he wants from her and is there to get it.

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