Arnold Friend Allusion

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Culture, the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively, can be defined by music, clothes, paintings, drawings, TV shows, etc. Joyce Carol Oates in her short story Where are you Going, Where Have you Been? explores the effects of music on an American teen. By making allusions to the church and utilizing music as a motif she explores the moral poverty of American pop culture and the ways it makes people vulnerable. Moral poverty of American pop culture means that in pop songs there really aren’t songs with meaning, that they create idealistic situations. Different people connect with music in different ways, for many teens music can be an escape from their real lives and show them a sort of promised…show more content…
Allusions of the church accompany the charcter of Arnold Friend that solidify this idea of music as religion. When you take the r’s out of Arnold Friend you get: an old fiend. A fiend is defined by a demonic spirit and some would say the devil. This would work as a description of Arnold Friend as his physical appearance makes him seem like something less then human for example when he steps up the stairs his boot turns outward in an unnatural way. Bibilical references also accompany Arnold Friend’s demonic qualities, the numbers 33, 19, 17 are painted on the side of his Jalopy. This can be interpreted as an allusion to Judges 19:17 and Genesis 19:17. Both passages are about traveling away from one place. In Genesis, God is telling Abraham to leave his home for the promised land of Cannan: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father 's house, unto a land that I will show thee” (12:1). The interaction between Connie and Arnold Friend echoes of this passage. Friend coaxes Connie to leave her, “Daddy’s house,” and promises that he’ll show her a special land: "We 'll go out to a nice field, out in the country here where it smells so nice and it 's sunny.” In this promised land he’ll show her the way love was “in movies and promised in songs.” When Connie leaves with Arnold Friend it is cruelly ironic, as she is not leaving for the promised land rather she is being led to her own
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