Arnold Friend Symbolizes the Devil in Where are you Going, Where Have you been? by Joyce Carol Oates

Decent Essays
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. First, Arnold Friend’s physical traits portray him as Satan. Oates says that “There were two boys in the car and now she recognized the driver: he had shaggy, shabby…show more content…
She knows he is threatening her and her family but it seems she is controlled by an unknown source that makes her go with him. Someone could argue that Connie went willingly to protect her family, but that seems weird since she tried to call for help. When she tried to call for help it seemed like Arnold Friend was controlling her so that she wasn’t able to call for help. Arnold Friend has a mysterious control over Connie that makes the reader believe that she is under his control. The story says, “She felt her pounding heart. Her hand seemed to enclose it. She thought for the first time in her life that it was nothing that was hers, that belonged to her, but just a pounding, living thing inside this body that wasn’t really hers either”(Oates 325). This could prove that she didn’t have control over the situation, kind of like someone or something was controlling her.
Arnold Friend represents Satan because of his physical character, his ability to know things about Connie, and his strange hypnotic power over her. Arnold Friend’s physical traits lead us to believe that he is trying to hide his true identity. He knows a lot of information about Connie that he shouldn’t know. He knew exactly where her parents were and what they were doing. He also has an unexplained force over Connie. This suggests that he has the power to make it seem like Connie was under his control. All of these things are common
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