Arnold Friend Theme

413 Words2 Pages
Joyce Carol Oates dedicated “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” to Bob Dylan, because Carol has claimed that the story was influenced by Dylan’s haunting song “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” The story contains a reflection of the song’s lyrics, such as the following: “The vagabond who’s rapping at your door / Is standing in the clothes that you once wore / Strike another match, go start anew / And it’s all over now, Baby Blue.” Dylan himself is mirrored in the figure of Arnold Friend. Dylan and Arnold are the same but more significant is how each man is perceived. In the story, Arnold Friend is a kind of this type of person and has come to take Connie away, and ultimately powerless to disobey him. At one point, Connie observes that Arnold’s voice sounds like the voice of the radio DJ, Bobby King. The DJ’s first name is a link to Dylan’s first name, and the DJ’s involvement in the music world evokes Dylan’s. Oates’s recalling feeling of Bob Dylan is purposeful, adding the power to the story. Oates 's short story also speaks to the song culture that was Dylan 's, which had much influence on teens. For example, Connie listened to the music that made everything even good, “ the music was always in the background like music at a church service, it was something to depend upon”. And, it is music that lures Connie, just as many teens of Dylan 's era were lured by his lyrics and music, although Ms. Oates does not perceive Dylan 's as subversive or dangerous. Interestingly, however, to deceive Connie, Arnold Friend mimics Dylan in the…show more content…
“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” is a great song, with a colorful cast of characters, a plaintive chorus, and a memorable message. In a way, it treads similar ground as “Like A Rolling Stone” and the “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” Things are happening you can’t even see. “Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you. Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you.” Change with the times or be left in
Open Document