Freedom The great singer-songwriter Bob Dylan once sang, “No one is free. Even the birds are chained to the sky.” This cryptic lyric can be portrayed as pertinent to Connie’s lack of freedom in Joyce Carol Oates Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been, a short story dedicated to Bob Dylan. This relevance may be seen throughout the piece of literature, as Connie is constantly stripped of her choice for personal freedom—from being implored to follow in the footsteps of her sister June, to being made to enter Arnold Friend’s vehicle.
In the story "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?", Joyce Carol Oates does an outstanding job on creating an element of bone chilling and goosebumps when reading it. Arnold Fiend, or as he likes to introduce to people as Friend, is a demon in disguise as he represents himself as goat like by his appearance, how he knows everything about Connie, the 15 year old protagonist, even when he just met her, and by how his car symbolizes himself and religion too. Simple things in the story like numbers and flies can mean more than what they are. Arnold Friend first appears when Connie is hanging out with her friends and a guy named Eddie, who is giving her attention just as she likes it.
The story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” had people in history asking questions of good and evil. Why do people have to suffer in the world? Arnold Friend is more than just an individual. He is a strong symbol of death, happiness, and everything that opposes the life we live in. This story was set in the context of the 1960s and the 1970s America and shows how strong violence is built into society (Laura Kalpakian).
The Embodiment of Satan Satan, as we know, is deceitful, manipulative, and immoral. He is not limited to any physical form or image. Arnold Friend, in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" written by Joyce Oates, is seen as the devil himself. Connie, who is a self-obsessed fifteen-year-old girl, is submitted to this male who declares he is her "lover" (Oates 207). While Connie’s parents and sister were away at a barbecue, Arnold and his friend decided it was the perfect time to prey on Connie.
Arnold Friend was there to take Connie away; away from her childhood and home, which never quite felt like home until her fantasy world deteriorated and reality set it. The next moment is pivotal, this is when Connie forgets her hedonism and becomes something of much more substance. Before Connie studies Arnold Friend’s abnormal personality and erratic behavior she is fascinated by him and even worries that she is ill prepared for this
In the story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates the outcome and the meaning relies solely on the reader. For some it’s a riveting fight between good and evil and for others it’s a sordid tale of seduction and loss of innocence. Connie and Arnold Friend represent the struggle between good and evil. Oates’s mixture of literal, figurative, psychological and allegorical makes this a great and suspenseful tale. Oates unmasked Arnold Friend as a satyr which is a demi-god from Greek and Roman mythology.
In Joyce Carol Oates’s short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” the main protagonist finds herself in a very hostile situation. With an all most fateful encounter with a man known as Arnold Friend. Forcing her to choose whether to run off with him or taking her by force. This man known as Arnold Friend to the reader comes off as almost a demon. A person who uses many temptations, word play, and threats to take advantage of the young protagonist Connie.
In the short story titled “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, Joyce Carol Oates introduces us to Connie, a narcissistic, rebellious, and naïve fifteen-year-old girl coming into a world of sexuality and adulthood she thinks she’s ready for. Unknown by her parents, she regularly spends the evenings exploring her individuality and freedom by flirting with teenage boys at her local diner. One evening, she catches the attention of a creepy and strange boy named Arnold Friend, who later shows up at her house unannounced with the intention to take her away. Needless to say, any person reading this will not be prepared to witness the ending of the story, or of a young woman’s loss of innocence and life. Although “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” has been interpreted many ways by scholars and writers alike, I believe the interpretation that best fits this narrative is Connie’s search for independence that eventually leads to a brutal outcome.
He tries to seduce and persuade her to go with him for a ride similar to how the Devil lured Eve with a shiny and mysterious apple. Oates displays evidence of biblical allusions regarding Arnold Friend’s appearance and persona in the story by depicting his physical characteristics, his supernatural knowledge, and his demeanor as an image of evil. Connie wants to be desired for her sexuality and Arnold possesses this by his tone throughout the story. His appearance comes
Religion and temptation of a forbidden object is a major theme in Joyce Carol Oate’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”. The story features Connie, a pretty 15-year-old girl who is given the opportunity to go on a date with Arnold Friend, who is described as being a mysterious man of 30 years of age or older. While this first excites Connie, she becomes increasingly hesitant as to whether or not going with Friend is a good idea as she starts to notice flaws in his character. Arnold Friend takes the form of a devil-like character and displays both physical and mental characteristics of this biblical creature. Friend makes multiple references to numbers and symbols that would give up his identity, and each time he makes these references
Connie: The Victim To A Demon The “heroine” of the short story Where Are You Going Where Have You Been written by Joyce Carol Oates has been interpreted in many different ways by many different authors across the globe. They all have their own opinions on why Connie had left her home and walked into the arms of Arnold Friend. Larry Rain makes the argument that Connie was a noble heroine that “chooses the side with the devil [to save her family]” (Rain Gale).
On a date, she noticed a guy in a gold convertible. The same guy, Arnold Friend and his friend, Ellie, showed up at her house while her family was gone to a barbeque. Arnold is trying to convince Connie to take a ride with him but Connie is fearful of his intentions. Through manipulation and threats, he finally lured the young girl to leave with him. In “Where are you going, where have you been”, Joyce Carol Oates used inspiration from a song and serial killer to write an incredible short story packed with themes and symbolism.
In Joyce Carol Oates fictional short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” the majority of the story lies beneath the surface. More specifically than just the story, you realize that there is more to the character Arnold Friend than what may appear. The author has always remained silent and ambiguous about the real meaning of Arnold Friend’s true nature and she leaves room for the readers to make their own interpretation of him. Readers can analyze Arnold Friend and see him as the devil, he could just be the personification of popular music imagined by Connie in a dream, but Arnold Friend could also be the result of drug use.
In her short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", Joyce Carol Oates utilizes a variety of literary devices to strengthen the story in its entirety. This short story is essentially about a 16-year-old girl named Connie and the conflict between her desire to be mature and her desire to remain an adolescent. Throughout the story, the audience sees this conflict through her words in addition to through her behavior. The audience is also introduced to Arnold Friend, a rather peculiar man, who essentially kidnaps her. This short story by Joyce Carol Oates functions and is additionally meaningful because of her usage of literary devices.
Instead of realizing the danger that she was in, Connie was focused on what Arnold Friend was wearing and how attractive he was. Connie’s obsession with finding her own sexuality overpowered her gut feeling of danger. In an analysis of “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”, Barbara Wiedemann discusses how the antagonist Arnold Friend is based upon serial killer Charles Schmid, who murdered several young girls during the 1960s. In the analysis, Wiedemann