Character Analysis Of Arnold Friend In 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'

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John Locke, a famous philosopher, once said,“I have always thought the actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.” People are not always who they seem, and their true self is revealed through their actions. In Joyce Carol Oates’s suspenseful short story, ”Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” antagonist, Arnold Friend, uses faustian tactics such as flattery, fear, and lies to manipulate and overpower the protagonist, Connie. Equivalent to the Devil, Arnold Friend uses flattery to deceive Connie. Throughout the story it is evident that Connie is suffering from a deficient amount of attention from home. Arnold Friend notices it, then takes advantage of this when he says, “I took a special interest in you, such a pretty…show more content…
Arnold’s appearance is the biggest faustian lie that he uses. From his head to toes and all the way to his car. “The boots must have been stuffed with something so he would seem taller,” this is evidence that he is trying to trick Connie into believing he is someone he is not in order to make her interested. Many stories are of the Devil using trickery to manipulate his image to be someone else, which Arnold Friend definitely does. In addition to presenting himself as someone he’s not, the car within the story is also an extended metaphor for him. The description of the car states, “It was an open jalopy, painted a bright gold…” Gold signifies wealth and a satisfying appearance just like he is trying to portray. The car being described as jalopy shows how it is flaky and ruined just like Arnold Friend is. You can’t cover dents and scratches with a coat of paint, the faults will always show through. It is said that actions speak louder than words and it is true. Through the short story written by Joyce Carol Oates, the character Arnold friend displays his devil like qualities through: adoration, terror, and dishonesty. You never know people's intentions or what their motives are, so either be cautious or learn how to read
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