Arnold Friend’s Biblical Allusions In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, Joyce Carol Oates tells a story of a young, innocent teenage girl, Connie who enjoys listening to music and begins exploring her sexuality and being with boys “the way it was in the movies and promised in songs” (Oates 198). In fact she catches the attention of Arnold Friend one night while at the mall meeting up with a boy. Not knowing he would appear in her life, Arnold strangely shows up at her house assuming they made plans to get together. His character is seen as the devil. 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 …show more content…
He mysteriously knows where Connie lives and invites himself to drive over to her house. Arnold assumes Connie’s friendship by convincing her that he knows everything and everybody, “I know your name and all about you” (Oates 201) when she never told him her name in the first place. He knew her friends, their names as well as what she did the night before. He also knew exactly where Connie’s family was, at a BBQ at Connie’s aunt Tille’s. He refers to this several times in the story while he is trying to coerce Connie saying that he knows exactly what they are doing. Arnold describes in detail, “There’s your sister in a blue dress” (Oates 204) or “your mother’s helping some fat woman with the corn” (Oates 204). They are husking corn, they are about to eat. He seems to possess this kind of knowledge of the certain things that he cannot possibly have knowledge
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At the end of "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” I believe that Connie is a normal girl. Although Connie is illustrated as a self-indulgent and vein teenager I did see anything that stood out in the text with lead me to believe that she was particularly evil. The same goes for her being a good girl she didn’t do anything that I found profoundly good. The fact the Arnold Friend scares Connie into coming with him is a cause for concluding that he is evil.
Throughout the story, there are many instances: the illogical time and settings, the similarity between Arnold and Connie and the unrealistic events show that the meeting between Connie and Arnold Friend is a dream. The dream is also a preparation for Connie before she steps onto the stage of being an adult. Connie’s dream begins when she refuses to go to her aunt’s house for barbecue party. She stays home, and under the warmness of the sun, she begins her day dreaming about love and the boy she has met the night before. In the beginning, the author writes “Connie sat with her eyes closed in the sun…”
Connie was unable to see the men's true personality until they removed their glasses, which like Connie, a person who has multiple sides. They use similar expressions throughout the story, for example, “Christ” and the use of the word “dope” this further links the two characters personalities. At the end of the story, after Arthur stops Connie from calling the police, she willingly joins the two men. This shows Connie ignoring her superego- calling the police- to succumb to her id (8, 9). Connie once asks, “how come we never saw you before?” to which Arthur replies, “Sure you saw me before… You just don’t remember” these lines also illustrate the tendency for a person to repress their ultimate desires (5).
In the coming of age story “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates uses symbolism, conflict, and the third person to foreshadow fifteen-year-old Connie’s unfortunate, yet untimely fate. While one may think that the conflict stems from Connie’s promiscuity, it is clear to see her promiscuity is only a result to a much bigger conflict, her mother’s constant nagging and disapproval, alongside the lack of attention from her father. the author paints a vivid picture of what happens when a fifteen-year-old girl such as Connie goes elsewhere to find to find the love, attention, and approval that she lacks at home. All which is vital for her growth and wellbeing as a person.
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
Connie uses her attitude and appearance to attract boys. But she is not aware of the reality of the society in which she lives. Connie is living in a fantasy world, but when she gets trapped by Arnold Friend she is put into a scary reality. There
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” was written by the author Joyce Carol Oates in 1966. Oates describes her idea for the story after briefly reading an article about the real-life murderer, Charles Schmid, who lured and murdered three teenage girls (Kirszner & Mandell 523). She uses this idea to create the character, Arnold Friend, and his victim, Connie. Connie is a typical teenage girl portrayed as naïve and self-centered. The short story appears realistic, given that the conflict in the story is based off of real events.
In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” there are many theories as to who Arnold Friend is and what his role. The story does not introduce Arnold till the middle and end of the story when Arnold Friend and Ellie Oscar, his friend, decides to pull up to Connie’s house trying to be gentle, but threatening at the same time. The tone sets the mood of the story, the way he talks is suave, so he doesn’t scare her as much but you could sense a little of annoyance in his voice when she refuses. He asks her to come ride with him, but then starts to threaten her family so she would get out the house and be with him.
Arnold Friend, the antagonist in Joyce Carol Oates’s story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” represents the devil who arrives to bring Connie to the underworld. For example, his unusual appearance implies that he is an inhuman being, unlike what he wants to lead on. As he struggles to walk from his car to the front door, Connie notes that “his whole face was a mask... tanned down to his throat...as if he had..makeup on..but had forgotten about his throat”(5). Arnold Friend covers his demonic features in order to pass as a teenager with the intention of deceiving Connie into leaving with him.
Reluctantly, her parents allow her to stay home alone. A few hours later, a familiar gold jalopy pulls up to her house. The driver announces to Connie that his name is Arnold Friend. His unusual physical appearance, his tone of voice, and what he may symbolize frighten the Connie.
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.
It is quite possible that Connie has just invented Arnold Friend based on her love of music, at one point in the story it seems like Connie is falling asleep while listening to XYZ Sunday Jamboree and all of the sudden Arnold Friend shows up coincidently listening to the same thing. Instead of saying Arnold Friend knows Connie’s name and many things about her because he is the devil, you could say that Arnold Friend knows all of that because he is described as
But he himself is almost a reflection of her sharing such similar traits only he comes out as the winner which is the ironic part. A big clue to Arnold representing what Connie doesn’t like is when he says “None of them would have done any of this for you” praying on her feeling of being unappreciated. Arnold is not only a demon in a physical from but also Connie’s eternal demon as
However, this is countered when Connie notes that “he was much older—thirty, maybe more” (315), a fact that frightens her. What Arnold is to Connie is a challenge of her want to be an adult, and a trail of her ability to deal with adult issue. Such as a man who singles her out sexual reason. Her wish to be an adult is something she seeks while passively avoiding it. Her avoidance is marked by day dreams of puppy love romance, like a typical teenager; yet, her attractive flaunt to be mature is presented as if she seeks to be an
She sees the boys who give her attention as subjugations who “dissolve into a single face that was not even a face but an idea” (Oates 675). But soon enough her dreams and music materialize into the shape of Arnold Friend. Arnold Friend is described as a muscular, older, and mysterious character. He seems to be a work of her imagination as he is ultimately an idea she created that would fit into her perfect fantasy world. Connie is defenseless to Arnold Friend’s manipulations mainly because she has no visible identity of her own.