In the story, “Where are you going, where have you been” by Joyce Carol Oates, the author utilizes a metaphorical figure of evil to convey the underlying theme of temptation. The author refers to hell through the antagonist, Arnold Friend symbolizing the devil, and the protagonist Connie as the helpless victim who invites him in by committing the sin of vanity and lust.
The main protagonist Connie, is a young girl in the stage of adolescence and rebellion, who struggles to escape her reality while portraying herself as a beauty queen. Ultimately, this makes her more susceptible to evil’s manipulations. Connie places great importance on her physical appearance. She can be described as shallow and narcissistic because, “she had a quick, nervous giggling habit of craning her neck to glance into a mirror or checking other people's faces to make sure hers was okay” (Oates 1) Connie longs to be different from her family; she believes that because of her physical appearance she is bound for more in life than her other family members, which subjects her to a fantasy world where everything is seemingly perfect. This is illustrated through Connie’s daydreams, “Connie sat with her eyes closed in the sun, dreaming and dazed with the warmth about her as if this were a kind of love, the caress of love.” (Oates 2)
By living a life based on vanity and lust, Connie invites evil into her life. The author indicates that Arnold Friend is Satan by alluding to certain clues the
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One of the symbols in the story are the sunglasses Arnold wears. He wears them to hide himself from the real world and to hide what his intentions are to do with Connie once she gets in the car to go for a ride with him. Arnold Friend himself also plays a symbol in the story. When you see the name, “Arnold Friend” and take the R out you will get “An old friend” or if you take both R’s out you will get “An Old Fiend” that is referring to the devil. He keeps talking to Connie trying to lure her into the vehicle stating everything will be ok and her family will not be home anytime soon because he knows exactly what they are doing at the exact moment. The text also says Arnold stands up in his boots and wobbles as if his boots were stuffed to make him taller and not all the way in.
Through plot, Oates demonstrates how Arnold Friend can be seen as a symbolic Satan. Plot starts when Arnold makes sure to tell Connie he is interested in her as he says,“Gonna get you baby” (Oates 1). Connie is in a drive-in restaurant for an older crowd when Arnold sees her for the first time. Once Connie leaves the drive-in dinner with a boy named Eddie, Arnold decides to make a move on Connie. Arnold uses foreshadowing to let her know he will meet her again. Just as Arnold says he is going to get Connie, he shows up in her driveway, creating a creepy situation. That Sunday afternoon, Connie is alone in her house while her parents and sister are on a picnic at one of their neighbor’s house, Arnold decides to use this opportunity to make his
by evil and sin. Arnold Friend first attempts to coax Connie out of her house for a joyride by
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
Besides Arnold Friend physical appearance, which makes the reader assume that his character is not a human being, Oates gives him supernatural powers that a normal person could not have. One example of this is the power that he has over Connie; he knows everything that involves her: “ 'Just for a ride, Connie sweetheart.' Arnold Friend says. 'I never said that my name was Connie, she said.' And he replies: 'But I know what it is. I know your name and all about you, a lots of things, Arnold Friend said' ”(584-585). The security of Arnold Friend words gives to reader the impression that he has been watching her closely and all the time without her knowing it or noticing it. This confirms the reader’s hypothesis that Friend's is Satan. Moreover, when Connie tries to hide from him in her house, Arnold manipulates her into leaving the house simply by telling her what to do, like a puppeteer and his puppet: “You won’t want your family to get hurt. Now get up all by yourself. Now turn this way. That’s right. Come over here to me. Now come out through the kitchen to me honey and let’s see a smile, try it, you are brave sweet little girl”(591). Oates makes the reader infer that Satan’s only way to make her comes out is by using his demon powers, because the devil cannot get into your house unless you have invited him in. Therefore, he uses his
In, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, by Joyce Carol Oates and “Eveline”, by James Joyce, two characters prove to be completely different but share few similarities as well. In both short stories, the main characters, Connie in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” and Eveline in “Eveline”, are both teenage girls who face problems at home. Connie and Eveline who are both caught up in their own cultures in different times are Both girls seem like they have it all going for them but what they conclusively share in common is their final decision bringing them to their downfall. The theme in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” and “Eveline,” possess and unyielding insecurity which stems from their family lives. Everything had two sides to it, one for one home and one for the other. Each of the girl 's home lives was oppressive and restraining. Making them both have to grow up faster.
Based on the actions and appearance of Arnold Friend, he is the devil. Arnold portrays the devil in many ways. The author of “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been”; Joyce Carol Oates, shows Arnold by his strange appearances, supernatural abilities, speech, odd symbols, and clues that state that he is the devil. When Connie first sees Arnold from the distance he thinks that he looks young and around her age, but later on in the story when she sees him up close she could tell he was a older man that was just attempting to make himself appear younger than he really is. Arnold Friend could be seen as a devil- like figure through his appearance. The idea of him being devil- like because of the temptation element. In looking to attract another, the
The short story “Where are you going, Where have you been” by Joyce Carol Oates was published in 1966. The story was purposely written for Bob Dylan, who’s song “It’s all over now, Baby Blue” had a great influence on the story. story Oates gives us many descriptions of the characters to give the reader a better understanding of what the character is feeling, thinking, and shows their personalities through their actions. The story also includes many signs and a great deal of symbolism. In this analysis, I will explore is Arnold friend representing an evil entity or is he simply genuinely trying to be Connie’s friend. A character by the name of Arnold Friend could potentially be a symbol of a demonic force, or even the devil.
Adolescence, the part of life we are most willing to forget. The awkward years of being stuck between, not yet an adult but certainly not a child. These years, however awful they maybe, are essential to the character that later develops. During adolescence we make decisions that shape the course of our life, from the personal interactions between friends and family to the academic decisions that impact future career, choices you make as a young adult impact you forever. Partially due to the importance of these short few years, it is not surprising how often children can make poor choices that derail their entire life. Increasing at startling frequency, these stories foretell of a dismal future. Due to this cautionary tales of adolescence have been rising in pop-culture. One of these is “Where are you going? Where have you been? By Carol Joyce Oates. This story tells of Connie, a young adult trying to make the leap to adulthood. Connie in her attempt to breach the gap ends up in drawing attention of Arnold Friend sealing the fate of her poorly executed coming of age. Connies ill fated coming of age in “Where have you been? Where are you going?” by Carol Joyce Oates acts as a cautionary tale about modern perils of adolescence.
The main conflict Connie faces in the story is Arnold Friend himself, a satanic figure preying on the young and naive. Initially Friend seems desirable to Connie, he seems like a suave mature figure, from afar, but as he draws closer to her Connie begins to see his flaws and what lies
The text says, “gonna get you baby”(Oates 1). The fact that Arnold Friend doesn't even know Connie and the first thing he says to her is that he is going to get her. That is pretty satanic, he speaks it into existence that he is going to get her and he does. Westwood backs up the claim stating that through foreshadowing Arnold Friend is similar to the devil. Westwood states that, “Exercising a eerie power, he predicts what will happen”(Westwood 1). Arnold Friend knows he is going to get Connie and what he is going to do with her before he even knows it. These are traits that the devil also has. Constant conflict between Connie and her mother causes Connie to wish for something that she now regrets. The text states, “Connie’s mother kept picking at her until Connie wished her mother was dead and she herself was dead and it was all over” (Oates 1). Connie and her mother are always bickering and Connie wishes herself and her mother were dead. When feeling low or depressed the devil finds ways to get control or seduce you. Arnold Friend takes advantage of Connie’s low self esteem and giver her close to what she wishes for. Through plot Arnold Friend reveals his many sinister traits and why the similarity between himself and the devil is so vivid.
Joyce Carol Oates also proves that Arnold Friend is a symbolic satan through characterization. In the story Arnold Friend quotes “ Get up honey. Get up all by yourself.” (Oates 9). The way arnold forces her to get up without even touching her using his power to get inside Connie’s head. Oates uses characterization to also describe Arnold friend looks. Easterly describes in his post “He bent down to re-adjust his boots” (Easterly 7). Easterly describes in his post how Friend was standing in a weird and inhuman way that it was completely uncomfortable. In most religion Satan is pictured on hooves so the way Arnold Friend was standing it seemed easier on hooves versus it just being on feet. Another example in the story Connie talks about how he’s crazy and Arnold Friend seems to stumble a little the devil feeds off of other people's will and this was a sign that the devil was losing his powers. Joyce Carol Oates also uses characterization to help show Friend affects Connie. In the story it quotes “Arnold Friend glasses mirrored everything in miniature including Connie.” (Oates 4). In this quote it shows how sin can overpower a person the stronger the will is. Arnold physical features represents a snake which is the common evil to Satan. Another Way Arnold Friend represents A symbolic Satan through
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
In the same vein, narcissism is another trait that characterizes Connie’s attitude. She obviously has the sophisticated mind-set of a young lady that she pretends to be although she is only an adolescent. It is easy to detect through the story that the protagonist Connie spends all her time acting and protecting her ego. So many passages illustrate that point of view. Connie is a two faced adolescent. She presents to the exterior world the image of a modest and well behaved girl whereas she has in her the hidden quality of sexual flirtation. To describe Connie, Oates mentions, ‘’Connie had long dark hair that drew anyone’s eye to it, and she wore part of it pulled up on her head and puffed out and the rest of it she left fall down her back. She wore a pull-over jersey blouse that looked one way when she was at home and another way when she was away from home’’
such as " I toldja shut up, Ellie," and "your deaf, get a hearing aid,