Joyce Carol Oates

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Joyce Carol Oates wrote, "Where are you going? Where have you been?" for Bob Dylan. The story however is really about the man named Charles Schmid. He is known as the Pied Piper of Tucson. He killed three girls and is suspected of having killed a young boy as well. She dedicated her story to Bob Dylan because she used his song "It's all Over Now Baby Blue" as an inspiration.

Joyce Carol Oates wrote about the story through the eyes of the victim. She used a girl named Connie as her main character. And described the events that took place in Connie's' life that led to her abduction by Arnold Friend. Arnold Friend represented Charles Schmid. Joyce Carol Oates wondered what it would take for a girl to be picked up by such a strange looking character. Throughout the story Connie is described as an innocent girl.

She is happy simply being pretty and all she wanted to do was meet different boys. She didn't know about people like Schmid. No one did. That was one thing that shocked the community of Tucson. The idea that people like this were around and their children were exposed to them surprised everyone. "Tucson society was not merely shaken by the murders of three of their young women but by what the details of those murders revealed about its adolescent population- sex clubs, drinking parties, blackmail, cover-ups for murder, and even connections with the crime underworld. Parents suddenly became more strict, more aware now that their kids weren't safe and maybe weren't even behaving properly. When kids looked to someone like Charles Schmid for answers, there was something terribly wrong." This was a wake up call to America that evil people were out there and that it was no longer...