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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Main Ideas

Motifs

Main Ideas Motifs

Dizziness

Dizziness overwhelms Connie at the moments when she realizes Arnold can and will overpower her. Initially, Arnold’s presence causes Connie to feel torn between desire and fear. But as the situation progresses, fear overtakes her. When Arnold lies to Connie about his age, her heart begins to pound, and when she sees that Ellie is also a grown man, she feels “a wave of dizziness rise.” Dizziness overwhelms her again when Arnold becomes impatient with her resistance. She knows that she is in over her head, and the realization makes her more vulnerable. She realizes that he is lying to her and his intentions are not necessarily good, but she cannot do anything about it. Dizziness is her fallback reaction and allows Arnold to gain an even stronger hold on her.

Music

Music functions as Connie’s bridge from the real world to her fantasy world. Connie enjoys escaping her life by listening to music and daydreaming about boys, and she gathers her ideas about romance primarily from songs on the radio. The happiness she finds with boys is rooted in these romantic fantasies rather than in the boys themselves. When Arnold shows up at her house, she is again reveling in the music she is listening to, and it takes her a moment to realize that it is the same music that is emanating from Arnold’s car. Even before Connie has noticed this similarity, she finds herself entranced by Arnold. Music relaxes Connie, and the fact that she and Arnold are listening to the same music lowers her guard just a bit. Connie has gleaned her idea of romance from her favorite music, and her encounter with Arnold reveals that the romance in her music is much more appealing than the reality of adult sexuality and seduction.