Connie´s Coming of Age

1257 Words Jul 13th, 2018 6 Pages
M K Cantrell
D. Hicks
English 1102
6 November 2013
Connie’s Coming of Age In her famous short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” Joyce Carol Oates shows the transition from childhood to adulthood through her character Connie. Each person experiences this transition in their own way and time. For some it is leaving home for the first time to go to college, for others it might be having to step up to a leadership position. No matter what, this transition affects everyone; it just happens to everyone differently. Oates describes Connie's unfortunate coming of age in a much more violent and unexpected way than the typical coming of age story for a fifteen year old girl. Connie has the need to be viewed as older and as
…show more content…
“As we learn in the story, being mired in the ‘eternal present’ carries with it dangerous and devastating consequences” (Theriot 59). Because Connie is only aware of the present, she does not see Arnold Friend as the tempter and trickster he is. Many believe that Friend represents either the Devil or a satyr. According to Wegs, “Arnold is far more than a grotesque portrait of a psychopathic killer masquerading as a teenager; he also has all the traditional sinister traits of that arch-deceiver and source of grotesque terror, the devil’ (Wegs 68). An example of these deceitful traits would be him lying and tricking Connie with his young-faced persona and using this distraction to force her to face the horrible choice of sacrificing herself or her family. Another opinion of Friend is that “the Devil is usually presented as interested in possessing human souls… [and]… Friend, on the other hand, clearly desires a physical relationship with Connie. His motives echo those of satyrs, notorious for their lechery” (Easterly 539). On the other hand, according to Easterly, “the Devil is usually presented as interested in possessing human souls… [and]… Friend, on the other hand, clearly desires a physical relationship with Connie. His motives echo those of satyrs, notorious for their lechery” (Easterly 539). Whether Oates meant for Friend to represent the Devil or a satyr is not the main function of his character. His main purpose in this story is presenting Connie with the
Open Document