In the story “Where are you Going, Where Have you been?” Joyce Carol Oates tells us about a fifteen year old girl named Connie. Connie is confronted by a young man who is trying to persuade her to take a ride with him. He introduces himself as Arnold Friend and kindly asks her to come with him but she refused. He then threatens Connie and her family. She is then forced outside and leaves with Arnold Friend. Arnold Friend clearly symbolizes the devil through his physical traits, his knowledge of Connie, and his power over her kind of like he was hypnotizing her to go with him.
Joyce Carol Oates' short story "Where are you going? Where have you been?" 'runneth over' with Biblical allusion and symbolism. The symbols of Arnold Friend, his disguise, and the music that runs through the story contribute to an overall feeling of devilishness, deception, and unease.
In “Where are You Going, Where Have you Been?” Joyce Carol Oates uses an allegorical figure of evil to illustrate the theme of temptation. Oates alludes to hell through the character Arnold Friend, as the devil, and his victim Connie, who invites him in by committing the sin of vanity.
A door to the beginning of her outcome is all that divides Connie in, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” from Arnold Friend, the devilish predator. Symbolism takes a big part in this story that gives a deeper meaning to Connie’s choices that ultimately extent to giving herself to Arnold. The author, Joyce Carol Oates in the short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” represents Arnold Friend as the real world by being challenging and malicious, and Connie as the innocent world by being defenseless and naive.
him appear taller, were used by Oates in her story to describe the antagonist, Arnold Friend. In the story and in real life the antagonist/Schmid, uses his fake looks, money and smooth talking as a way to get people to follow him; giving him
Arnold Friend is a seductive man, or should I say ArN OLD FrIEND with a dark appearance hiding something deeper, something evil? Arnold, posing as a teen-age boy, is none other than the devil himself, which shows in his words and actions, and in his physical traits. From the very beginning of, Joyce Carol Oates', "Where are you going, Where Have you been?" a certain number of religious references are interspersed throughout. These references help to maintain a biblical feeling, as well as to set a path for Friend's entry into the story. They also foreshadow that; powers beyond a human level will be presented. Friend looks like one person in the beginning, but as the story unfolds, he is shown as someone else or
“I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love” (Marilyn Monroe). Joyce Carol Oates is the author of the realistic allegory story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”. The story is about a young girl named Connie, who likes seeking attention from men, as a distraction from her problems at home. She meets a man named Arnold Friend, he goes after Connie, claiming he has to take her for a ride, but it is obvious he wants to do other things. Because of this character’s actions, it is determined that he is a representation of the devil. Through plot, characterization, and dialogue, Oates successfully portrays Arnold Friend as a symbolic Satan.
In where are you going, where have you been the major conflict is the lack of self-confidence and immaturity of Connie. From that, the complication of being stalked by Arnold arises. The author does not just tell us Connie is a naive girl but discusses her actions and lack of actions leading us to believe so. Because of that, by the time the complication start taking shape, the reader can almost guess what would be next, that is Arnold is one of the boys that are Connie’s age. Knowing a lot about Connie by now, we will guess after being reluctant for a while she will take off with him like she has done before so many times, there how ever is a surprise waiting. Once we start following the dialogue between Connie and Arnold and know more about his awkward looks and language we start understanding the symbolism Oates has been using. He is the prince of darkness and he is there to take Connie to her final destiny, the land of the dead. Talking about the old woman down the street who was also murdered he is
In the story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” Connie, the main character, is already struggling with many things in life and sneaks her way to date guys. There was also conflicting between her and her mother due to her mother favoring her sister, June and describing her as someone who is a good example of what she wants Connie to be. Her father is never at home due to work and when he is home, the girls do not relate to him. Arnold Friend is described as a dangerous figure with his pale complexion and his slick black hair looking like trouble by not presenting himself in a pleasing way to Connie, by not walking properly. This was an indication on how he was not in the right state of mind and how Arnold shouldn’t be near Connie. There was one scene in the story where Arnold Friend shows up, uninvited, notifying Connie that he is not a friend, but has come to take her away from her home to possibly kidnap her. "Connie felt a wave of dizziness, rise in her at this sight and she stared at him as if waiting for something to change the shock of the moment, make it alright again”. Connie feels safe in the house and does not come out until Arnold convinces and demands her that she come out. Things took an unpleasant twist when Arnold tells Connie not use the phone or he will break his promise of not coming in the house
Arnold Friend’s layers of deception. Connie’s blindness is the pretext of her loss of innocence
“Nothing about Arnold Friend is genuine, except his violent intentions and his skill at psychological and physical intimidation. By the story’s end, Connie understands that she is not the confident flirt she thought, but a powerless pawn in the hands of a dangerous individual.” (Cormier)
Just by reading the first few lines, I understand that the article is about the different kind of satyr’s Oates uses in her works. Also, sharing the satyr’s and the antagonists in her works share similar qualities. Like in, “‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?’ becomes more significant when Friend is interpreted as representing a satyr, a demi-god from Greek and Roman Mythology.” As we read farther into the article, it suggests that the character names and qualities have to relate to satyr. Connie’s character in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” the name itself suggests that she could be “conned” or be “controlled” or can “control” in most situations. Also, the character, “Ellie Oscar is a parody of the name of the Greek god of mercy, Elios, yet this character’s psychopathic behavior give no hint of succor.” Coming back to Arnold Friend, in the article they characterize him with the way satyr looks like, but except the character is hiding all of those qualities with materials like hats, boots and glasses.
Having a common threatening, horrifying occurrence and antagonist is also how Smooth Talk can give justice to a great short story by Joyce Carol Oates. Arnold Friend or “an old fiend” if you remove the R’s represents the outcome of irresponsible teenage behavior. By his character being inspired by a serial killer you get the horror struck feeling when he is around youth, more specifically the tactless Connie. The character of Arnold Friend, like how the review by Joyce M. Wegs, is one that represents a symbiotic Satan. The fact
Arnold Friend from “Where are you going, Where have you been?” has similar evil qualities as The Misfit in “A good man is hard to find”. They both make their victims feel scared, striking fear in what will come next. The Misfit kills the family where Arnold threatens to kill Connie’s family if she doesn’t come with him. I would say that Arnold has more evil for he threatens to kill Connie’s family while pretending like Connie has a choice. He gives Connie’s choices during the altercation but none
When first reading the book, “Love in LA”, the name Jake seemed reminiscent of snake, and snake could loosely be connected to the story of Adam and Eve, or temptation. Now many could also argue that in,”Where have you been…”, the character Arnold Friend could in fact be the devil himself. While describing Arnold Friend, the author said, “ One of his boots was at a strange angle. It pointed out at the left, bent at the ankle.” (pg 90) In most depictions of the devil, the character usually has hooves, so instead of feet stuffed oddly into his boots, could they in fact be the hooves of the devil? Even though Jake wasn’t portrayed as the devil in, “Love in LA,” he could still be a biblical character. “ He made up a last name and address and wrote down the name of an insurance company an old girlfriend once belonged to.”(63) Like the biblical snake in the Garden of Eden, Jake showcases his sly, untrustworthy side. Both of the characters take on the personas of temptation and mischief to finally get what they want in the end of their stories.