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"Where Are You Going, Where have You Been"
Vanity can be exposed as one's greatest weakness. "Where Are You Going, Where have You Been", a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates, describes Connie's misconception of beauty as her only value, and also the ways in which Arnold Friend, a potential rapist and murderer, manipulates and takes advantage of Connie's vanity. Connie is a fifteen year old girl who knows the extent to which her beauty can be used to her advantage. Connie "knew she was pretty and that was everything." However, beauty causes Connie to become vain, and thus gives Connie the misconception that she is more powerful than the boys that are attracted to her. This proves that Connie believes her beauty allows her to transcend above other people, especially boys. As a result, although her beauteous physique can be seen as a benefit to Connie, her vanity proves to become her ultimate weakness and it leads to her demise as seen when Arnold Friend states "I took a special interest in you, such a pretty girl".
Connie becomes powerless in Arnold Friend's presence because he manipulates and takes advantage of her vanity and desire for attention.
Connie's newly found sexuality as a teen gives her control over the boys she encounters at places such as the "fly-infested" drive in, which she describes as a "haven and blessing they yearned for." The drive- in, which is "fly-infested" in reality, is the "sacred building" where Connie believes that her beauty can be truly appreciated, whereas at her home, beauty is not acknowledged at all. As a result, Connie further embraces her beauty in order to satiate her need for attention. In her "trashy daydreams," Connie...