Arnold Friend

995 Words4 Pages
In Joyce Carol Oates’ highly acclaimed short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Oates tells the story of a fictional adolescent girl named Connie that has a run in with pure evil itself in the shape of a man named Arnold Friend. Arnold Friend, a man dressed as a boy that she once saw at a drive-in, shows up at Connie’s house one afternoon when her family is away and tells her that if she does not come out of her house and go away and have sex with him then he will kill her whole family. Throughout the story Connie is shown to be an extreme narcissist, constantly staring at herself and basking in her profound beauty. Connie is a typical teenage girl that only seems to care about boys what others think of her but she takes it…show more content…
When Arnold and Ellie first show up at Connie’s house and ask her to take a ride with them it is very much unlike her to be hesitant and even say no. Connie normally feeds off of her interactions with guys and is with a different one every night so for her to reject Arnold’s offer is shocking. At this point in the story Arnold seems to Connie as a normal teenage boy with a flashy car so the reader would think of course Connie would go with him but to the reader’s dismay, she does not. Already in the story the reader has seen a striking change in Connie, she is more apprehensive and aware, contrary to her reckless decisions prior to this encounter. It is inevitable to see that Connie has already begun her transformation into a more aware and mature human being. This change is more than obvious when Arnold confronts her with a decision to save her family’s lives and sacrifice her own and Connie chooses to save the family that she despises. For Connie to save these people that she calls her family and sacrifice her own life that she normally sees as superior to others’ is of utmost importance in perceiving that Connie has undergone a momentous change as a person. Connie goes from wishing her mother dead at the start of the story to exchanging her own life for her’s. Although Connie is perceived as a pretentious brat at the beginning of the story, she undergoes a change in personality, and acts in spite of all her previous beliefs…show more content…
Previous to Connie’s transformation, she despised her family and even wished her own mother dead, but she pushes all her preceding beliefs aside and puts others lives before her own to the absolute dismay of the reader. What would you do if you were in Connie’s
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