Going Places Summary by AR Barton


The story of Going by AK Barton Places revolves around young teenagers and their aspirations. It is a phase of life when the desire to achieve the impossible is unstoppable and thrilling. It is an age where people are most impressionable and take heroes to look up to.

Sophie’s Dreams

The story recounts Sophie, a teenage girl from a lower-middle-class family, and her dreams. She wants to run the finest and most famous boutique in the city just like Mary Quant, the famous fashion designer.

This is opposite to her friend and classmate, Jansie who is more pragmatic and in tune with the harsh reality of life. Jansie advises her friend against entertaining impossible fantasies as Sophie does not have the means to open a boutique, let alone run it.

Sophie, though, plans on saving the money for her own boutique. She is steadfast in making her dreams come true. She fantasizes about being an actress and a fashion designer.

Her father is dismissive of her wild fantasies and tells her to forget about becoming an actress or falling for a celebrity footballer. Her brother, Geoff, also thinks that Sophie’s dreams will end up breaking her heart one day.

Teenage Romance

Sophie’s teenage crush is a young Irish football player named Danny Casey. She is obsessed with the footballer and makes herself believe that she loves him and he would love her as well when they meet.

One day she met Danny Casey at the arcade and asked for an autograph. As there was no paper and pen he promised to give her the autograph near the canal.

For Sophie, it was a dream date. Her brother, Geoff thought Danny must have many girls as his admirers and could not possibly fall for a poor girl like Sophie. But Sophie was ecstatic and hopeful that they would meet the next Saturday.

The Appointed Date

Next Saturday, she went to the canal and waited for the man of her dreams, Danny. He was late. Sophie was mortified at the prospect of telling her family about her absent date. Finally, Geoff was proven right as Danny did not turn.

Dejected but not defeated, Sophie she went to the arcade in case Danny will show up there as the last time. But he did not and her fantastical dream came crashing down in the end.

Finally, her romantic perception met with reality. She was crestfallen, realizing that things she wished to happen would never materialize. Her incurable infatuation and fascination with Danny Casey led her to the pain of dashed hopes in her life.

Key Thoughts

Going Places is a tale that represents the naïve but hopeful fantasies of a young girl. It depicts the struggles of youth in adolescence face and tries to navigate through. Sophie wants to become an actress, open her own boutique and date a famous football.

She is just like so many other young girls who dream about such things. But the reality is, Sophie comes from a poor family and is way too young to recognize the limitations of her circumstances.

She is brave enough to follow her dreams but in the end, is left broken-hearted when she realizes the reality can be harsh. The World is tough and full of compromises, sometimes even at the costs of a young girl’s dreams.