Arnold Friend Character Analysis Essay

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In the beginning of Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, Joyce Carol Oates describes fifteen year old Connie as being self absorbed and narcissistic. This is based of her belief that her looks are everything. At first connie is a very static character, her attitude does not change and she does not take interest in anything that could change her attitude towards her beliefs. As the story goes on, Connie experiences changes that do change her attitude towards her family, and beliefs.

“Connie would raise her eyebrows at these familiar old complaints and look right through her mother, into a shadowy vision of herself as she was right at that moment: she knew she was pretty and that was everything.” Much of who Connie really is surrounded by her physical beauty. She gets criticism from her
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Arnold Friend is really the reason why Connie becomes so different at the end of the story. Arnold's presence at Connie's house causes connie to feel torn between desire and fear. As Connie spends more time with Arnold she starts to get an uneasy feeling about him. “Connie stared at him, another wave of dizziness and fear rising on her so that for a moment he wasn't even in focus but was just a blur standing there against his gold car, and she had the idea that he had driven up the driveway all right but had come from nowhere before that belonged nowhere and that everything about him and even the music that was so familiar to her was only half real.” After Connie is hit by a spell of dizziness she begins to realize that Arnold is not who he says he is. She has a disturbing idea that arnold friend has no past and no roots. The author expresses this idea by not sharing any background information on Arnold. Unlike Connie, whose history and thoughts are in the story, arnold is not “humanized” or normal making him very mysterious and suspicious
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