Download 116.1 Kb.
Size116.1 Kb.
  1   2

Joyce Carol Oates:

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”


  • rebels/“bad boys” throughout the generations (music, movies)

  • secret desire/wish/fantasy with which you surprisingly came face-to-face.

  • Teenagers: behaviors, role models, sexuality, malls…

POST-READING: (Research one of the following & relate to our story.)

  1. Death and the Maiden motif

  2. Persephone and Demeter myth

  3. “Pied Piper of Hamelin” (Robert Browning)

  4. The Golden Calf

  5. Prince Charming, Knight in Shining Armor, …

  6. “Bad Boys” through the generations

  7. Eve’s Temptation by Serpent (Paradise Lost)

    1. Satan in Garden (Book IV)

    2. Eve’s Dream (Book V)

  8. Eve’s Temptation (Book IX)

  9. Wish Fulfillment (Freud)

  10. death wish, self-destructive tendencies

  11. Bob Dylan

  12. Charles Starkweather (and Caril Fugate) killing spree

    1. history

    2. in movies:

      1. Pulp Fiction (diner), Wild at Heart, True Romance,

      2. Kalifornia, Natural Born Killers

  13. Charles Schmid murders: Moser, Don. “The Pied Piper of Tucson.” Life 4 Mar. 1966: 19-24, 80c-90.

  14. Charles Manson murders

  15. Teenage Culture (girls): self-righteousness, identity formation, “growing pains,” testing boundaries, testing freedoms, sexuality, role models = pop stars (movies, music)

  16. Allegory

  17. JCO review of Smooth Talk (1986 movie version)




a) Bildungsroman:

  • coming-of-age

  • rite-of-passage

B) Gothic:

  • suspense, grotesque story


  • surreal, more than concrete

  • extended metaphor

  • characters = symbols, abstractions (of human virtues, vices)

  • plot/actions = symbolic

  • theme = concerns the human experience

  • effective on literal AND symbolic/figurative levels (layers of meaning)

  • Feminist allegory

  • Rock-N-Roll fable

D) **KIDNAP STORY: (quasi-Stockholm Syndrome)

  • unlike most, where the victim does NOT wish to be taken

  • here, the “victim” secretly wishes to be taken

    • she wants to leave,

    • secretly wishes for a handsome prince to come and take her away

    • has yet to find, in all her “dates” (hook-ups) a boy who is man enough to take her away

    • she dreams of escape, of a different life

    • fantasizes of a better life, promised in R&R songs

    • realization:

      • the unknown looks better than the known

      • he has planned her abduction (premeditated)

      • he is likely to follow through on his threats of violence against her family

      •  self-sacrifice


  • JCO term

  • “Hawthornean, romantic, shading into parable”

  • “minutely detailed yet clearly an allegory” … of the fatal attractions of devil (or the devil)”

  • realistic: details, description, based on actual event

  • allegorical: symbolic, levels of meaning




  • summer, mid-summer (July), Sunday

  • suburban setting

  • atmosphere =

    • teenagers (hangout)

    • lazy, dream-like (surreal, illusory, ethereal)

    • suspense


  • general era

  •  chronological

    • midsummer night

    • Sunday afternoon


  • 3rd person, limited omniscient

  • Connie’s mind, thoughts, feelings

    • Connie = PROTAGONIST

    • Arnold = ANTAGONIST

  • non-judgmental (assessment’s = Connie’s, not narrator’s)


  • attractive, liked attention (vanity)

  • nagged by mother all the time

  • no attention from her father (Elektra Complex)

  • lies, sneaks over to drive-in (older kids)

    • “Everything about her always had two sides to it, ….”

  • many “dates” (sex?) Eddie

  • Arnold Friend’s 1st meeting: “Gonna get you, baby.”

  • Connie’s dreams

  • no church on Sundays (no religion?)


  • Connie

  • Arnold Friend

  • Mother

  • mall

  • drive-in restaurant

  • Arnold’s car

  • music

  • screen door


  • reality vs. appearances

  • reality vs. fantasy

  • deceptions, illusions

  • self-deception

  • unreality:

    • lies, hints, deceptions, suspicions, threats

    • reflections that fool the eyes (neon lights, mirrored glasses)

    • hypnotic effect of music

    • hypnotic effect of Arnold Friend’s voice


  • sexual maturity

  • mother-daughter relationships

  • warning against vanity (see arrogance of Joy/Hulga in “GCP”)

  • masks

  • control

  • reality vs. fantasy

  • reality vs. appearance

  • Elektra Complex?

  • taboo

  • allegory

  • coming of age (rite of passage) (Bildungsroman) (testing the limits of freedom)

  • hunter becomes hunted

  • self-sacrifice?




  • 15

  • attractive

  • vain (knows she’s attractive—“…she had a quick nervous giggling habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people’s faces to make sure her own was alright.”)

    • typical superficiality of teenagers (ego formation, identity)

    • typical rebellion of teenagers

    • typical sexual experimentation, testing of boundaries

  • rebellious

  • flirtatious

    • “dates” many boys at the drive-in (makes out in their cars—no SEX)

  • does not get along with her mother: thinks she is smarter than/better looking than mother

  • lies: @ mall

  • embarrassed by family (barbeque), sister (school), mother

  • possible Elektra Complex with her father

  • perhaps desperate for his attention  seeks it in the attention of any male figure

  • JCO on Connie:

    • “An innocent young girl is seduced by way of her own vanity; she mistakes death for erotic romance of a particularly American/trashy sort.”

    • “Connie is shallow, vain, silly, hopeful, doomed—but capable nonetheless of an unexpected gesture of heroism at the story’s end….We don’t know the nature of her sacrifice, only that she is generous enough to make it.”


  • mirrored sunglasses

  • beady eyes, white (no sun tan)

  • short

    • (stuffed shoes  clumsy, awkward, hard to stand/walk…absurd)

  • tight black jeans

  • tight white shirt

  • muscles (strong  make good on threats)

  • sing-songy voice, melodic, hypnotic

  • hawk-like nose

  • bushy hair

  • car:

    • spray-painted gold

    • jalopy (from another time; old)

    • convertible

    • painted name, smiley-face-w/-glasses

  • JCO on Arnold:

    • “self-styled 1950s pop figure”

    • “alternately absurd and winning”

    • the story has no evidence that AF has kidnapped & murdered other girls or that he intends to do the same with Connie

    • “smooth talking seducer”


  • jealous, envious of her daughter’s youth & good looks, freedom, sexuality

  • was once attractive, BUT no longer

  • favors the reasonable, secure, steady daughter, June


  • distant

  • workaholic

  • pays little attention to his daughters, wife

  • nightly routine: ate supper, read newspaper, went to bed


  • fat

  • financially secure (secretary at Connie’s high school)

  • lives at home

  • helps out at home (cleans, chores)

  • 24

  • darling of her mother

  • “…she was so plain and chunky and steady that Connie had to hear her praised all the time by her mother and her mother’s sisters.”



for Bob Dylan


  • past tense

  • 3rd person

  • Connie's point-of-view, colored by her thoughts:

    • "Her mother, who noticed everything and knew everything and who hadn't much reason any longer to look at her own face...."

    • "Her mother had been pretty once too, if you could believe those old snapshots in the album, but now her looks were gone and that was why she was always after Connie."


  • "Everyday Use": Connie & June = Dee & Maggie,

  • except Maggie is younger & Connie is younger

  • June is 24, still lives at home, secretary at Connie's high school, plain, chunky, steady

  • June gets all the attention & praise

  • *** Connie: no identity of her own, always compared in relation to June, to be more like her sister

  • **  Connie wished her mother was dead, wished she herself were dead (suicidal? foreshadowing? "just wished it was all over with"?)


  • child = embarrassed by mother

  • nagging

  • search for identity separate from mother/family


  • works all the time

  • distant,

  • doesn't talk much, engage family much

  • works, eats, newspaper


  • identity, duality

  • mall scene, w/girl friends

    • (shopping, movies, flirting)

    • driven 3 miles into town (suburbia)

    • best friend's father drives

    • home by 11 PM

    • father never asked where they were, what they were doing (**parental indifference, ignorance, innocence*)

    • dressed in shorts, ballerina slippers (CHILD), charm bracelets (CHILD), thin wrists


  • fight with parents, sibling rivalry, feel nagged

  • mall scene

  • dress

  • giggle, laugh, whisper

  • DUALITY: look one way at home, dress another w/friends

  • rebellion, lying  "ducking fast across the busy road, to a drive-in restaurant where older kids hung out"

  • (*danger, thrill, "breathless with daring")


"She wore a pull over jersey blouse that looked one way when she was at home and another way when she was away from home. Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home: her walk, which could be childlike and bobbing, or languid enough to make anyone think she was hearing MUSIC in her head; her mouth, which was pale and smirking most of the time, but bright pink on these evenings out; her laugh, which was cynical and drawling at home—"Ha, ha, very funny"—but high-pitched and nervous anywhere else, like the jingling of her charms on her bracelet."


  • drive-in restaurant:

    • freedom, thrill ("breathless with daring"), danger, adulthood/maturity,

    • power (over high school boys their own they could ignore),

    • *TABOO*,

    • *BLINDNESS* (don't see the reality of the place: gaudy, fly-infested),

    • a pseudo-religious place for teenagers--CHURCH, even w/music

      • (*Mammon*, false gods, idols [Golden Calf])

  • MUSIC:


    • Pied Piper, leading kids ("And Connie paid real close attention herself"),

    • phony name (like Arnold Friend, Manley Pointer)

  • Arnold Friend:

  • car:

  • mirrored sunglasses: hide his eyes  eyes = windows to the soul (no soul, hide true intentions, not used to the sunlight = DEVIL, vampire); "mirrored everything in miniature" (condescension); she couldn't see what part of her he was looking at; ***she was always looking at her own reflection in mirrored surfaces  he = her vanity, dream, reflection of her true self***)

  • *flies:

    • fatal attraction to bright objects, self-destruction?

    • death (at drive-in, barbeque, screen door), feed on flesh;

    • scavengers;

    • pests of summer (danger of youth?); blindness?


  • way she dressed (ballerina shoes, charm bracelet)

  • thin wrists, ankles, shoulders

  • way she acted (tantrums)

  • way she sat at counter (crossed ankles, not legs)

  • Eddie at the drive-in (sat backwards, spun, hesitated to ask)

SELFISH: leaves her friend behind at the restaurant, who "wouldn't be alone for long" (left to fend off the wolves)

  • music in her walk

  • music at the restaurant (like CHURCH music)

  • music = the appeal of the restaurant (not Eddie, not the place itself) -- "the pure pleasure of being alive"

  • music on the radio (Sunday) "to drown out the quiet" (avoidance of facing reality, truth about her feelings, loneliness, empty life)..."hard, fast, shrieking songs" and Bobby King

  • music from Ellie Oscar's transistor radio

  • music in Arnold's voice

ARNOLD FRIEND: 1st meeting:

  • right as she felt "the pure pleasure of being alive" (IRONY)

  • "Gonna get you, baby."

  • grinning Big Boy, grinning Arnold Friend

  • then left w/Eddie to eat, drink Coke, make-out (SEX???) did her girl friend


  • Connie looks back at 11 PM to the

  • deserted, faded, "ghostly" mall parking lot AND

  • then to the hive-like, busy, musical, alive drive-in

  • (SYMBOLISM of youth, transition from youth to young adulthood)


  • dreams & fantasizes about the boys she's met

  • BUT ... all the boys "dissolved into a single face that was not even a face, but an idea, a feeling, mixed up with the urgent insistent pounding of the MUSIC and the humid night air of July."

    • @ Arnold Friend?

    • What is the "idea" or "feeling"? (love, danger, freedom, escape, adulthood, sex drive)

  • dreams in the sun, on Sunday, of boys


  • "Her mother was so simple, Connie thought, that it was maybe cruel to fool her so much...." lies to her mother about not knowing the Pettinger girl who got pregnant, to distant herself from the SAME (dangerous) behavior

    • girl = pregnant, kidnapped??


    • danger of her behavior (pregnant, kidnapped)

    • ELECTRA COMPLEX (rivalry, antagonism)


  • going over to the drive-in from the mall...instead of movies

  • lies about the movie to June

  • lies about "the Pettinger girl" (pregnant)


  • cross busy highway to get to the drive-in

  • hang out with older boys

  • unprotected sex, making out with total strangers



  • drive-in = her church, R&R = her church music (false gods, idols)

  • sleep in on Sundays, no church attendance (none in the family -->lapse in morality, family bond)


  • drive-in

  • Connie sees a barbeque as "running yelling kids and the flies" BUT that's the same as the drive-in

  • doesn't see the risk, DANGER in drive-in, lying, flirting, sex, Arnold Friend


  • dreams of boys (mixes w/Arnold Friend)

  • daydreams on Sunday of boy from the night before

  • the boys were always "nice" "sweet" "the way it was in movies and promised in songs"**

  • *when she awoke, she was lost; surreal; house looked too small (house = SYMBOL of her blossoming adulthood, her readiness to leave the nest) she had to shake herself awake

  • hypnotic effect of the radio show, as she "bathed in the glow of the slow-pulsed joy that seem to rise mysteriously out of the music itself..."


  • arguments, nagging with her mother

  • the contrast between the mall & drive-in

  • her blossoming sexuality

  • the 3-year-old ranch house that "looked small"

  • the “big world” behind him

  •  leaves with Arnold Friend


  • shabby black, unkempt hair (wig?)

  • four short beeps, as if that was their signal

  • mirrored sunglasses

    • hid eyes, soul; vampire in sunlight;

    • she couldn't see what part of her he was looking at;

    • ***she was always looking at her own reflection in mirrored surfaces

      •  he = her vanity, dream, reflection of her true self***)

  • listening to the same music program

  • *he doesn't back down, doesn't allow Connie to lie or downplay certain things

    • (Bobby King is great, her excuse to do "things" instead of go for a ride)

    •  knows her all too well,

    • knows teenager girls really well,

    • reflection of her, creation of her mind (dream)

  • CAR: his name painted on the painted car, plus sunglassed smiley face; #33, 19, 17 ("a secret code"????); dent with "DONE BY CRAZY WOMAN DRIVER" (protective mother, angry teenage girl, his reckless driving)

  • *car = lure: AF uses the car's marking to lure her out of the house, and then into the car (Connie doesn't bite)

  • AF = dressed: short, dressed in the latest style ("which was the way all of them dressed"

    •  AF is a predator trying to fit in w/the kids/his prey [**"a wolf in sheep's clothing"],

    • AF is a figment of her imagination, DREAM)

    • tight faded jeans, scuffed boots, soiled pull-over, scruffy face, muscular (from hard work)--foreshadowing danger/threat

  • *AF = animal-like: predator dressed as prey, muscular, hawk-like nose, "sniffing as if she were a treat he was going to gobble up" (foreshadowing)

  • *as if he's known her for so long: 4-beep signal, not allowing her to lie/down play, "This is your day set aside for a ride with me and you know it." "I know my Connie." "I know your name and all about you....I took a special interest in you...." (fate? prophecy? devil been watching her?)

  • his eyes: pale, not used to the daylight ("night owl," devil, vampire, creature of the night)

  • no destination: no plan to go to any place  no direction, plans only to rape & kill?

  • SATAN: omniscience = knows about her name, her family's barbeque, when they'll return, where she was the night before, her best friend Betty

  • smile, sing-song voice (predatory)

  • SATAN: knows about Connie & her family, knows other kids (including the Pettinger girl  got her pregnant, killed her??)

  • *SATAN: out of date: "MAN THE FLYING SAUCERS" = painted on his car, "It was an expressions the kids had used the year before but didn't use this year." (she doesn't get the message: predator mobile, like animal changing its skin to fit in [wolf, sheep*])

  • music: playing on Connie's radio, Ellie's radio, AF's voice, AF tapping fists together in time to the music, music blend together

  • AF's "sign" = an "X" (????? -- just his weirdness, absurdity)

  • SATAN: his "slippery friendly smile"

  • Connie’s recognition #1, 2: notices but does not put it all together yet (car, behavior, dress, talk)

  • AGE: 30, maybe more (when asked, his smile vanished)  "At this knowledge her heart began to pound faster."

    • (*taboo, rising fear, sexual arousal, Electra Complex*);

    • he lies and says 18 (see "GCP" and Joy's lie about her age--both lies easily seen through)

  • Big Bad Wolf: he smiled at being busted, w/big white teeth (foreshadowing)

  • MASK: wig (191), mascara on his eye lashes (195), boots (197)

  • *Ellie = "Death" sunglasses (hide thoughts), bright orange shirt, pale bluish chest, no muscles, collar up to block sun (vampiric); fair, hairless face, veins too close to skin (like a baby); maybe older at 40

  • Connie's realization #3: "dizziness" while looking at Ellie  in a trance? rising fear? hypnotic music? dream?

  • Connie asks them to leave X2 (refuses him  change in TONE**)

  • Dream: AF's voice = Billy King's voice

  • heat getting to AF  impatience, cracks his veneer, demands Connie to come out

  • Connie's realization #4: fear & dizziness rising at his change in tone

  • unreality: AF becomes a blur to Connie, she gets the idea that he "had come from nowhere before that and belonged nowhere and that everything about him and even the music that was so familiar to her was only half real." (dream) (Satan)

  • Connie threatens him with her father (odd, because she doesn't rely on her father AND Arnold sees right through this lie, too; empty threat) (childish: I'll get my father after you.)

  • SATAN: vision #2: vision of the picnic and what they're doing "right now" (true vision OR good guess??) Aunt Tillie, June's dress, drinking, corn husking

  • mistake? just a good guess: fat woman at the barbeque (Connie fills it in, but doesn't realize: Mrs. Hornsby does not belong there)

  • hypnotic suggestion: tells exactly what she's going to do (hypnotic? threat? weirdness? *daddy figure?)

  • VIRGIN: "I'm your lover, honey....You don't know what that is but you will." (??) (sex slave? rape?)

  • danger: nice at 1st

  • always keeps his word (lie?)

  • sexy talk, talks dirty to her  her reaction = to put her hands to her ears to block the sound (more fear, sweat; turned on??)

  • he lurches & almost falls: weakened state caused by being in the daylight too long

    • (Satan, vampire),

    • caused by her resistance,

    • he's drunk,

    • caused by his stuffed shoes

  • Connie threatens him with calling the police (this threat scares him, more than that of her father)

  • MASK: "as if he were smiling from behind a mask. His whole face was a mask...." (wearing pancake make-up down to his throat)

  • promise: always tells the truth, won't come in the house (vampire: can't come in unless invited?) --unless she calls the police, then his promise is off (veiled threat--behind the mask [see Manley Pointer in "GCP"]*)

  • surreal: DREAM: as it was when she 1st awoke in the yard, the kitchen now doesn't look familiar, she notices her failed responsibilities* (dirty dishes, sticky table)

  • SATAN: boot at a strange angle, crooked (or ABSURDITY)

  • threat: break through locked screen door (or anything), light the place on fire (to get her to come out)

  • "stop fooling around": as if he expected to just rush at the opportunity (slut), another veiled threat?

  • outdated: AF echoes a popular song from last year, about a girl rushing into her boyfriend's arms & coming home again (music & his voice) (dream?)

  • lie: Connie lies again @ her father coming home soon (*CHILD: 2 authority figures for a child = daddy & police)

  • stuffed shoes

  • Ellie: "You want to pull out the telephone?"

    • threat,

    • **the seriousness of the situation, they are not leaving without her

    • “Death”: he's just learning to use the language

  • Arnold = angry: embarrassed b/c boots OR angry b/c he doesn't want Ellie to spook the prey*

  • SATAN: "Don't you know who I am?"

  • **open threat: come out OR I'll kill your family

  • SATAN: after Ellie's question #2 @ the phone, AF snaps, "as if he were running through all the expressions he'd learned but was no longer sure which of them was in style...." (*outdated)

  • behind the mask: open threat

  • old lady down the road(??): she's dead (he doesn't know? he killed her? he's claiming he killed her?) What "rudeness" is he conscious of?

  • "What are you going to do?" (relenting)  sex

  • "It's all over for you her...." (Bob Dylan song*)

  • *CLIMAX:

    • Connie tries to call the police, but the DIALTONE roars in her head (fear? SATAN),

    • too weak with fear (hypnotized?),

    • calls out for her mother (strange!!),

    • trapped inside house & trapped inside a wailing (in hell?)

    • (glimpse of her future as sex slave: "...AF was stabbing her again and again with no tenderness."**),

    • screaming (last vestige of will power)

  • ** AF = in total control: when she comes to, AF = in total control, her will is gone; he commands & she responds

    • psychotic break,

    • other "personality" wins,

    • wish fulfillment issue =resolved*

  • now she is "hollow": fear before, now emptiness

  • Connie's realization: a "pinpoint of light" deep inside her brain: "She thought, I'm not going to see my mother again. She thought, I'm not going to sleep in my bed again."

    • realization of her doom/fate, death

    • odd, her final thoughts are of her mother

    • *Electra Complex: symbolizes a daughter's coming to terms with her animosity with her mother

  • AF: in a "stage voice": "The place where you came from ain't there any more, and the place you had in mind to go is cancelled out. This place you are now--inside your daddy's house--is nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down anytime. You know that and always did know it." (3 little pigs) (title)

  • TITLE, SATAN, SLUT: knows her too well, bad reputation, where you've been determines where you'll go: AF "That [her heart she's feeling] feels solid too but we know better. Be nice to me, be nice like you can because what else is there for a GIRL LIKE YOU but to be sweet and pretty and give in?—and get away before her people come back?"

  • threatens her family again

  • SACRIFICE: Connie sacrifices herself for her family's safety (his physical strength, his eyes, something about him Connie knows will make good on the threats)

  • vision #3: AF claims: "they don't know one thing about you and never did and honey you're better than them because not one of them would have done this [SACRIFICE] for you."

  • SATAN, anti-Christ: embrace with his arms open, elbows pointing at each other ("a little mocking")

END: behind AF was "so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to it."

  • eternity, ie, her death? ashes to ashes, dust to dust = her death?

  • initiation in to adulthood?

  • she didn't recognize the house or the kitchen & now the world  adulthood, too big for the "nest"



  • murder, fake hair, make-up, boots, short, wobbling


  • wobbling,

  • painted car

  • way he talked

  • his “sign”

  • out-of-date aspects (words, car)

  • *also points to her BLINDNESS


  • background, soundtrack

  • setting, atmosphere

  • theme, beat

  • character

  • Pied Piper, idol worship, Golden Calf, charisma of R&R star/false prophet (new Messiah, consciousness)

  • Bobby King = Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley

  • AF = manifestation of Connie's desires, personification of popular music


  • 3 little pigs, big bad wolf & LRRH

  • legends & folk songs

  • *adds to the REALISTIC ALLEGORY*

  • childish aspect of Connie

  • Connie's perspective, only monster she's ever known have come from such children's books

  • if this is a dream, it makes sense that the "monster" would come from a story she read/read to her as a child

  • psychological phenomenon: breakthrough, maturation, “crossing over?

  • this story is a nursery rhyme for adolescents/parents


  • Why would SATAN come for HER???

  •  she = ripe, he's been watching her (lies, arrogance, vanity, sex) "Where Have You Been?" (title)

  • his “omniscience”, out-of-date, charm, boots, make-up, threats, hypnotic suggestion, phone, entrance to house


  • fate, determinism, future = based on past, where you are going is determined by where you have been, cause-effect, causality (Matrix)

  • questions parents should be asking of their children in order to protect them, from predators like Arnold Friend

  • AF: "The place where you came from ain't there any more, and the place you had in mind to go is cancelled out."



  • As a kidnap story, what is the victim’s attitude towards being abducted?

  • What role does POPULAR TEEN MUSIC play in this story? How does the music affect Connie in each instance?

  • What kind of life has Connie been living? What makes her happy and unhappy? Is she a normal teenager with a normal teenager’s life?

  • How can “reality versus illusion” serve as a theme of this story? Illustrate with specific parts from the story.

  • Existential allegory?

  • story as Broken fairy tale?

  • Grotesque?

  • “Impure realism”?

  • Connie as Religious initiate?

  • AF as “Tambourine Man”




  • What does it mean?

  • To what does it refer?

  • Why did she change it from “Death and the Maiden”?


  • Connie sacrifices herself for her family

  • genuine?

  • tainted heroism?:

    • self-aggrandizement (delusion of grandeur)

    • hero-making

    • sacrifice herself for a family she does NOT love

    • she wants to leave/escape

*Death and the Maiden motif:

  • Prince Charming, Knight in Shining Armor/Knight-Errant, Frog Prince:


  • Why does Connie go on those “dates”?

  • What is she looking for? Waiting for? Is Arnold Friend it?


  • How is Arnold the materialization of Connie’s secret dreams/fantasies?

  • Freud said dreams are forms of wish fulfillment—the symbolic attainment, in the form of dreams & fantasies, of an often unconscious wish or impulse—attempts by the unconscious to resolve a conflict


  • Compare Connie and her Mother:

    • What was her mother like when she was younger? Could the mother’s present become Connie’s future?

  • Compare Connie & Dee, Joy, Eveline, Rebecca Brewer

  • mother-daughter relationships

  • sibling rivalries

  • masks


  • Describe someone older you have noticed who hangs around high school, even though he has already been graduated (years before).

  • What do they say and do? How do they act, dress, talk?

*POWER OF MUSIC: Discuss the hypnotic AND illusory quality of music, the (false?) promises it makes, its (erroneous?) treatment of life & women & relationships

Connie is seduced by Arnold’s use of music: his voice = announcers voice, his voice = lyrical like songs, he = image from songs, promises better life as songs do (songs = “her sole connection to a better life”she succumbs)


  • What is significant about this age? Today, still?

  • Seen in “Hunters in the Snow.”


  • What happens to Connie?

  • Foreshadowing” clues.

  • Does her mother search for her?

  • Compare to epilogue of “GCP.”

    • Does she need to learn a lesson (like Joy)?

    • Does her mother look for her?


  • Connie threatens AF with her father.

  • Connie calls out to her mother & thinks about never seeing her mother again.

  • AF calls Connie his “Blue-eyed girl.”


  • How is Connie responsible for her own fate?

  • How does she bring it about herself? What previous behaviors?


  • Charles Howard Starkweather, Jr. (19)

  • Lincoln, Nebraska

  • James Dean image

  • poor, desperate loser

  • historical milieu:

    • Eisenhower’s 2nd term

    • FBI, JE Hoover

    • typical 1950s conformity

    • *rebellion:

      • Rock-N-Roll

      • James Dean (Rebel Without a Cause)

      • Elvis Presley

    • violence & alienation

  • 1) killed gas station attendant for refusing him to buy on credit a toy dog for Caril Ann Fugate: returned at night, bought cigarettes & candy on 2 separate occasions, then returned again w/gun, robbed for $100, then kidnapped Robert Colvert to deserted area, fight over gun, shot wounded RC in head with shotgun…told Caril Fugate about it

  • 2) went to Caril Fugate’s home for her, argued with mother & stepfather, shot them dead, clubbed to death her 2-year-old step-sister; buried their bodies around the back of the house…told Caril Fugate about it?

    • Caril and CS stayed in the house for 6 days

    • sign on the door about the flu (misspelled words)

  • 3) drove to Starkweather family friend’s farm outside of town, shot August Meyer in the head

    • got stuck in the mud

  • teenagers Robert Jensen & Carol King offered to give them a ride;; kidnapped; taken to abandoned storm cellar; shot; Fugate shot the girl; took RJ’s car

  • back to Lincoln, to wealthy part of town, industrialist’s home, killed wife & maid (Fugate stabbed them multiple times); shot husband C. Lauer when he came home; stole his car, looted his house; traveled to Wyoming

  • Merle Collison, traveling salesman asleep on the side of the road, shot by CS, but finished off by Fugate

  • CAUGHT: Collison’s car wouldn’t start, sheriff happened by, ** Caril Fugate turned on CS (said he kidnapped her & threatened to kill her family)**, high-speed chase, CS shot in the ear, stops & surrenders b/c he thought he was going to bleed to death from superficial wound

  • TRIAL: changed story several times, Fugate = innocent, then willing accomplice (at her trial)…he electrocuted 6/25/59 (5 months later), she paroled in 1976


Pied Piper” MURDERS: (1964, 65)

  • Charles Howard Schmid, Jr. (23) “Smitty”

  • Tucson, Arizona

  • adopted son of nursing home owners ($$$)

  • dropped out of high school after suspension (for stealing tools)

  • had his own place, $300-month allowance

  • 5’3”  5’7” with stuffed shoes

    • wadding, cans  walked clumsily

  • reddish brown hair  dyed black

  • whitened lips

  • pancake make-up on face

  • fake mole on left cheek

  • Elvis look

  • arrogant, narcissistic

  • pathological liar, braggart

  • cruised high school, “the Speedway” strip for young girls

  • APPEAL”:

    • older

    • worldly wise, “sophisticated”

    • own place (Paul Graff lived w/him)

    • own car

    • parties, orgies

    • booze, drugs

    • strange

    • “different”

    • boring town w/retired people

  • **SHOCK:

    • violence, murder

    • sex clubs

    • wild parties

    • blackmail

    • murder cover-up (no one told on him, though they knew or suspected)

    • links to criminal underworld

    • turned towards him! for answers, role model

    • post-Starkweather

    • pre-Charles Manson

  • historical milieu:

    • birth control pill  sexual indiscretions, freedom

    • rebellion against 1950s conformity

    • Arizona with retired population, runaway minors, transient population

    • innocent or indifferent (ignorant) parents

  • Killed:

    • Alleen Rowe, 15 (May 1964)

    • Gretchen Fritz, 17, younger sister Wendy, 13 (August 1965)

    • younger, perhaps smashed cat against the wall

    • earlier, perhaps killed young man who killed his girlfriend in a car accident, cut off his hands, buried him in the desert

  • married 15-year-old girl, arrested on 11/11/65 (Life story on 3/4/66)

  • death penalty, commuted to 50 years, 3/10/75 = stabbed by fellow prisoners



  • Robert Browning, 1842

  • Similarities to “WRUG?”

    • his smile

    • red & gold cloak:

      • bright

      • hippy

      • from a different era

    • on a midsummer’s day (July 22)

    • music

    • hear in the music what they desire most (food for rats, children’s paradise for kids)

      • promises of a better life, ideal life, earthly paradise

  • overrun by rats

  • mysterious appearance

  • he promises to rid the town (for a fee) and does

  • leads them out of town & drowns them in the river

  • the town renege on their payment (from $1,000 to $50)

    • wine money

    • he = outsider, weirdo

    • rats = dead

  • leads kids out of town, through magical mountain passage

  • only survivor = lame child (foot) – tells of promises

  • town memorializes event in decree, “Pied Piper’s Street” (no music), column, stained glass window in church

  • kids ended up in Transylvania

  • lesson: keep promises



  • Exodus 32

  • impatience, little faith/loyalty (while Moses is up on Mt. Sinai)

  • Aaron: people go to him, he gathers their earrings and jewelry to fashion a Golden Calf

  • they build on altar in front of it, offer burnt offerings to it, praise it for leading them out of Egypt (gods, not God); eat, drink, revel

  • God wants to destroy all of them; Moses asks God to spare them

  • Moses returns, sees, smashes tablets, burned Golden Calf, melts it, forces them to drink gold

  • Moses separates them into 2, choice—with God (Levites), not

  • Moses commands the Levites to destroy the rest (@ 3,000)

  • God punishes the surviving Levites with a plague for their sin (idolatry)

  • Idolatry: worshipping graven images

    • (OR any god but God); corruptible images, not perfect like God; not putting God 1st; not giving proper thanks to God…pagan revelry

  • Bull: Egyptian mythology = bull god Apis (Hapis, Hapi-ankh), Memphis region

  • Bull: earlier, Greek culture, Heracles’ 12 Labors with Cretan Bull; sacred (to Poseidon) white bull beloved by Pasiphae (daughter of Sun, twin to Europa, wife to King Menos)  Minotaur



  • Persephone (Proserpine in Roman): daughter of Demeter

  • Demeter (Ceres in Latin): mother, goddess of fertility, grain

  • Hades (Pluto in Latin): god of Underworld

  • Hades: hell, underworld (Tartarus = place of suffering, worst sinners)

  • Aphrodite & Eros (Venus & Cupid) use love as a weapon, to control the other gods

    • Pluto = only god not under their charm

    • Minerva, Diana, Ceres = defy V&C (REVENGE!)

    • 2 birds, 1 stone: get Pluto under control; avenge Ceres & Persephone (who threatens to follow her mother’s example of defiance)

  • Setting =

    • Sicily

    • wooded lake, secluded, Edenic

  • Persephone/Proserpine:

    • picking flowers with her friends (lilies, violets)

  • Pluto:

    • comes to surface to inspect the damages from the shaking of the earth

    • feared his kingdom would be exposed to the light

    • when the Giants fell

      • (subdued & buried alive under Mt. Aetna, their breath = volcano)

      • Titans ruled, imprisoned in Tartarus

      • then the Giants rebelled against the Olympian gods, buried under Mt. Aetna

    • shot with Cupid’s “love arrow”

    • sees Proserpine, in love, carries her off to Underworld

  • Ceres:

    • 9 days/nights search around the world (found nothing)

    • weeps at a rock, in the guise of an old woman

    • goatherd and his daughter returning w/flock comfort her & invite her home

    • his baby boy = dying  Ceres repays father’s kindness by curing baby with a kiss AND plans to make him immortal (mother stops her; Ceres reveals herself & scolds mother BUT promises to make the boy a great man/teacher of the plough/father of agriculture)  Triptolemus  teaches world, builds temple in honor of Ceres in Eleusis (establishes “Eleusian mysteries,” greatest of the Greeks)

    • searches the world #2

    • returns to the River Cyane in Sicily

      • water nymph gives Ceres Proserpine’s girdle that she dropped during abduction

      • BUT does not tell her what she saw, who took daughter where (afraid of Pluto)

    •  Ceres punishes the land for willingly opening up and taking her daughter

      • drought, animals won’t multiply, famine

      • *abandons her divine function*

  • Arethusa =

    • a spring, formerly a woodland nymph

    • tells Ceres her story as well as Proserpine’s location:

      • ran away from ALPHEUS, god of a stream, when she was bathing & her pursued

      • hidden in a cloud by goddess Diana

      • turned into a spring

      • hid in a cavern

      • traveled through the Underworld

      • where she saw Proserpine (as Queen)—time has passed

      • came up in Sicily

  • Ceres:

    • appeals to Jove & Jupiter

    • (Jove is Proserpine’s daughter)

    • Jupiter gives her return one CONDITION:

      • Proserpine must not eat while in the Underworld

      • Or else the FATES forbid her release


        • Proserpine “sucked the sweet pulp from a few of the seeds”

        •  no complete release

        • ½ year with mother, ½ year with husband


  • *Proserpine = symbol (allegory)

    • (1) signifies seed-corn:

      • planted/sowed = concealed underground

      • grows/matures = returns to her mother

    • (2) winter & spring

    • (3) death & rebirth

  • *myth explains the origin of the seasons (allegory)

  • *myth explains the cursing of the earth, “fall” from a “paradise” (allegory)

    • previously = NO break in the seasons (all 1 season), no droughts, failure of cattle to multiply

  • *myth explains the origin of farming/agriculture (allegory)

    • previously = NO agriculture, plough-farming

  • real life:

    • RIVER ALPHEUS truly goes underground

    • Sicilian fountain ARETHUSA passes under sea, reappears in Sicily

  • literary references to myth:

    • Paradise Lost Book IV: Proserpine’s wooded lake = Garden of Eden (tries to describe Garden by comparison to wooded lake, foreshadow fall)

    • Kubla Khan: begins with reference to the River “Alph” (Alpheus)

  • HISTORY” of the gods:

    • Great Mother Goddess, Gaea (Gaia—“earth”)

    • she produced “son” Uranus (sky god, 1st ruler of earth, 1st Titan)

    • Gaea mated with Uranus, her son  (TITANS)

      • Cronus (the ruling Titan),

      • Rhea, Phoebe (Titan of the moon),

      • Oceanus (Titan of water), Tethys (wife of Oceanus),

      • Hyperion (Titan of light), Mnemosyne (Titan of memory, mother of Muses),

      • Themis (Titan of justice & order; mother of the Fates & seasons),

      • Iapetus (father of Prometheus, Epimetheus, & Atlas

        • Prometheus: wisest Titan, means “forethought,” fought w/Zeus against Cronus, protector & benefactor of humanity—gave fire  punished by chained to rock, eagle peck his liver

        • Epimetheus: stupid, “afterthought”

        • Atlas: punished for leading Titans against Zeus hold world on his back

      • Coeus (Titan of intelligence), Crius, Thea

    • Cronus overthrew father Uranus, encouraged by Gaea

      • (b/c Uranus imprisoned 6 storm gods (Cyclops, Hecatoncheires) in Tartarus)

    • Cronus castrated Uranus (held down by other Titans)  death

    • Cronus mated with Rhea, his sister  (OLYMPIANS) Hestia, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, Zeus

    • prophecy = Cronus would be succeeded by one of his children  he ate them whole at their birth

    • Rhea hid Zeus, raised by a mortal family, Rhea fed Cronus rocks instead

    • Zeus, matured, returned to Mt. Olympus overthrew Cronus, his father, and saved his siblings

    • Zeus married Hera, his sister (Zeus had many affairs, with mortals & immortals)

    • Zeus mated with Demeter, his sister  Persephone

    • Demeter (like Rhea, her mother) = fertility goddess, vegetation, corn, seasons, soils, generative powers


    • (1) above

    • (2) Homeric Hymn (c.650 BC): Hades asks for Zeus’ assistance (look the other way), father allows uncle to rape his daughter  Persephone plucks “cosmic flower” (narcissus)—enchanted by its unsurpassed beauty/caught off guard, earth opens (no abduction, per se)

    • (3) King Celeus, servant Iambe  rites of Communion in Eleusinian mysteries

    • (4) Hecate helps Demeter (sends her to Helios); Neptune rapes Demeter, in human and horse form; Persephone = Queen of Erebus, 2/3 & 1/3 year

    • Tartarus vs. Hades:

      • Hades = afterlife, mighty warriors, ancestors

      • Tartarus = gloomiest part of Hades, dark & horrible region, evildoers

    • Persephone vs. Aphrodite: over Adonis (split ½ and ½ )


  • pomegranate = sexual knowledge

  • mother-daughter relationships (of their respective times):

    • Persephone & Demeter get along VS. Connie & her mother

  • the often-difficult transition from maidenhood to adulthood/marriage

  • cycles of death & rebirth

  • initiation rite into adulthood?

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder”: depression, hatefulness, coldness, melancholy

  • Persephone = psychopomp: conductor/comforter of souls, she greets them & orientates them to their new homes/lives

**Starkweather, Bonnie & Clyde, Schmid:

  • Connie becomes killer, too

  • Persephone, as Queen of Underworld/Erebus = fearsome, “grim,” “dread” (in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, c. 750 BC, 743 BC)

    • Homeric Hymn to Demeter (c. 650), to Bacchylides, Euripides… she = (+)

  • SACRIFICE” = Persephone seeks to do some good, psychopomp  Connie goes with him to do some good, save her family??

**DUALITY of Persephone:

  • “Kore” = grain/corn maiden (young, innocent)

  • “Persephone” = Queen of the Underworld (older, queen)

  • Connie = “two sides”: home Connie & mall/drive-in Connie

  • life (daughter) & death (wife)

  • wife & daughter, death & rebirth, wisdom & innocence

**CONNIE = narcissistic:

  • “cosmic flower” plucked by Persephone = narcissus

  • self-love  caught off guard


  • Connie’s mother searches for her daughter

  • Demeter/Ceres searches 9 days (months)



  • daughter's obsession with her father (during the phallic stage)

    • penis envy

    • hostility towards mother (caused her “castration”)

    • later, fear of losing mother’s love revokes this antagonism, internalizes

  • Freud: “feminine Oedipus attitude”; renamed by Carl Jung

  • Euripides’ Electra (daughter drives her brothers Orestes to kill their mother Clytemnestra & her lover in revenge for killing their father Agamemnon)


  • death instinct, death drive

  • “an innate and unconscious tendency toward self-destruction postulated in psychoanalytic theory to explain aggressive and destructive behavior not satisfactorily explained by the pleasure principle -- called also Thanatos” [personification of Death, twin to Hypnos] (Merriam-Webster)

  • self-destructive tendencies

  • Freud, Lacan



  • How is Arnold the materialization of Connie’s secret dreams/fantasies?

  • Freud said dreams are forms of wish fulfillment—the symbolic attainment, in the form of dreams & fantasies, of an often unconscious wish or impulse—attempts by the unconscious to resolve a conflict


Share with your friends:
  1   2

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page