Learning check

1. Vocabulary

No study aids.

Translate the following words into Danish:


afraid _________________________________________________________________________________

terrified _______________________________________________________________________________

panic-stricken _________________________________________________________________________

scared ________________________________________________________________________________

worried _______________________________________________________________________________

petrified _______________________________________________________________________________

anxious _______________________________________________________________________________

uneasy ________________________________________________________________________________

horrified ______________________________________________________________________________


Learning check

2. Say it!

1. Say It!

In groups of three: the first student names a square – for example B2 – and the second student in the group has to perform the task. Continue until all the tasks have been performed. When you are given a task, talk for at least one minute. If the student who has to perform the task needs help, he or she can ask the other students for help.





1. You are Connie. How would you characterize your relationship with your family?

1. You are Arnold Friend. Tell a psychiatrist how you made Connie go with you and what you did to her.

1. You are Connie. Explain why you do what Arnold Friend tells you to.

2. You are Ellie. Tell your lawyer what happened.

2. You are Connie. How do you feel about boys? And how do you feel when you see Arnold Friend’s car?

2. You are June. Tell a reporter about your sister.


3. You are the mother. What is your daughter like?

3. You are Arnold Friend. Explain why you pretend to be 18 and dress the way you do.

3. You are the father. What is your role in the family?



Text-related assignment

1. Written assignment: continuation of the story

Write a continuation of the story – what happens next? Use 50 words.


Text-related assignment

2. Written assignment: newspaper article

A tabloid paper – for example The Sun www.thesun.co.uk/ is a newspaper which often presents light and popular news stories in a condensed and sensational form.


Write an article for a tabloid paper describing the situation the following day. Use about 500 words. Choose a catchy headline followed by a brief introduction to create curiosity in the reader. The body of your article must include information about the facts of the case. Try to end with an interesting point that will tempt readers to buy tomorrow’s paper.


Wider contexts

1. Historical context: other media: newspaper article as inspiration for the story

a)      Read the article about the young man who inspired Joyce Carol Oates to write “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”


b) What is it about the case that you think may have inspired her? Comment on the style. Does this information add to your understanding of the text?




pied piper rottefænger

pipsqueak lille skvat

fixture fast inventar

sleazy snusket

conceal skjule

pancake makeup makeup consisting of a solid layer of compressed powder, used in the theatre

putty kit

emancipate frigøre

epicureal nydelsessyg

rant svada

prompt tilskynde, få til at

sobriquet øgenavn

dumpy lille og tyk

binge gilde

lure lokke

sophomore andetårs student


c) Compare the newspaper article with the short story. What does Joyce Carol Oates achieve when she turns an article like that into a work of fiction?


Wider contexts

2. Sociological context: Comparison with the article “Bad or Mad?”

Is Arnold Friend “bad or mad”? Check the article on p. 137 and discuss.


Wider contexts

3. “Cracking the secret code” – numbers in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”

The numbers 33, 19 and 17 which are written on Arnold Friend’s car (p. 167, l. 1) have been interpreted in various ways.


a) The sum of the numbers 69 are an indication of his sexual deviancy underlining his intention to rape and murder Connie.

b) The numbers are a biblical reference to the thirty-third book of the Old Testament Judges 19:17 where it says

“And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, “Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou?”

Furthermore, the reference concerns a man who returns home with his concubine. In this interpretation Connie would therefore be seen as the concubine of the devil.

c) The missing number in the 17, 19 sequence is 18. The 18th letter in the alphabet is r and if you remove the r  from Arnold Friend’s name it becomes Fiend. The oldest fiend through time has been the devil, and a myth states that the devil is never allowed to enter a house uninvited which would explain why Arnold doesn’t enter Connie’s house.

Also it is believed that the devil has hooves and not feet which could explain why Arnold seems to have some problems with his shoes.


Which of the three interpretations do you agree with most? Why? Try to find other ways to interpret the numbers.


Wider contexts

4. Literary context: other media: Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”

Joyce Carol Oates has dedicated the short story to Bob Dylan. Find and read the lyrics to “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” on the internet and listen to the song on YouTube.


Matrix groups


a) Work in 5 groups so that each group is responsible for one stanza. Analyse your stanza by using the tools section p. 322 in Wider Contexts.

b) Form new groups with a member from each of the original groups. Present your answers to the new group. Then discuss how Dylan’s song and Oates’ story can be compared – also consider the title of the short story.

c) Other Bob Dylan songs which may have inspired Joyce Carol Oates are It's All Over Now, Baby Blue and Subterranean Homesick Blues. Listen to the songs, read the lyrics and discuss what elements in the songs may have inspired the author.


Link collection