Socio-cultural setting of Where are you going? Where have you been?
“Where are you going? Where have you been ?” set in the 1960s in America. The sixties are the era of transformations when style bloomed rapidly and ideas of peace and philosophy grew wildly. Joyce Carol Oates hugely portrayed the cultures and traditions of American in the sixties in this story. She exposed the way they lives their life and the culture and norms at that time. The revolutions and the movement. In this story, violence and sexuality had been given the focus point.
The culture of the 60s rich with style, fashion and trends that rises hastily. “Where are you going? Where have you been ?” exposed their life style widely .Oates used convertible jalopy painted gold and the way they dressed to symbolize the pop culture .Connie and her friends wear short and bracelets on their feet. She also inserted the 60s trend where most of the teenagers spent their time in shopping complexes and diner. Furthermore, music is hugely explicit in this story. The transistor and radio were very famous during this era. Ellie Oscar was described listening to the music, Connie was listening to the radio and their hangout place were filled with music. Almost all the situation were described with music in the background.
The setting of American in the sixties will arouse questions in our mind such as how safe they were? Why Connie is threaten at her own house? Guy such Arnold Friend was a threat to many teenagers. It was also told that Oates wrote this story based on the crime that is infamous at the time ,where a guy kidnapped ,rape and murder many young girls. The teenagers spend their life carefree and don’t think about the consequences in the 60s. The sixties are related as the year of youth where many teenagers want to change things and the world to a better place. The cultures play enormous role , and the hippie counterculture are all legacies of the 1960s.
The sixties were said to be the era of youth because many post-war babies grown up and when to college. The teenagers started to rebel and searching for their freedom . They began to explore sexual experiences and seek out for different gender relations. In this story, Connie was described as a teenager acted like a grown-up. She interacted with older guy and ended up lured into Arnold’s hand.
The sexuality was also questioned at this era. 1960s often said as a revolutionary period and became more liberated toward sexuality. Male were portrayed as dominant and have bigger right. Connie’s father was shown as a very workaholic and rarely spent his time at home. Arnold Friend was attracted to younger girl in this story or maybe he want to taste different type of women, we all don’t know what will happen to Connie after she followed him. This story might lead to violence and adolescent sex. To conclude in a nut shell ,the era is a carefree era, where music was dominant and violence happen everywhere.