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Word Count: 1,167
There are many similarities between the short stories AP and Where are you going Where have you been most notably their characters Both stories contain a female protagonist and a male antagonist whose confrontations start out relatively normal and progress to more and more surreal and twisted endings Their main characters Sammy and Connie are shockingly similar and yet strangely different one a 15 year old wishing to be older and beautiful the other An eighteen year old boy from a small suburb outside Boston who works at an A P Supermarket These stories tell the tales of impressionable young women who are tempted by the delights of strange men only to prove to themselves in the end how naive they really are In Where are you going Where have you been Connie starts out as most teenage girls seemingly would - she wants to be more daring to appear older to experience more of the world She sneaks away from childish pursuits to the teenage or adult world to drink and kiss boys rather than shop for school clothes to see movies in a steamy car instead of in a theater She talks of being beautiful as if it were her only good grace - beauty to her is the ultimate goal She wants to be older and more beautiful and this is her downfall Her foolishness and her naivety is what appeals to Arnold Friend in the first place Arnold Friend a stranger appeals to her early on in the story He is older more powerful and smarter She is frightened of course but intrigued and it is her yearning for the adult world and the adult life that in the end causes her downfall She is suckered in by the convincing conman who uses his words to appeal to her weaknesses She is tricked into being what Arnold wants her to be by his smooth words and his faccedilade of confidence
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