Oates’s biography explained her fiction writing as a mixture violence and sexual obsession. The writing style definitely fits the plot point of this story with both of her literary ingredients being present in not only Arnold Friend but in Connie as well. The Protagonist Connie is presented in a very self-centered way. She is obsessed with her looks and often fantasizes about all the boys she meets.
However, this changes when Arnold together with a friend show up at Connie’s home while her parents are away. She realizes there is more to Arnold than meets the eye and that her life and that of her family could be in danger. An article written in an issue of life magazine in 1966
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.
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
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
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.
Joyce Carol Oates uses physical characterization to foreshadow early on what truly is going to happen to Connie. Arnold is hiding things about his physical appearance. No matter what Connie says or does, Arnold keeps talking, and yet he reveals nothing about himself. He never physically asks Connie to join him, but his words have the same force and pull as the actions he only threatens to take. "Soon
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
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).
Connie’s first encounter with Friend was at a diner when he stated to Connie, “Gonna get you, baby”(pg.1142). Because Connie was use to this type of attention, she did not view it as strange that an older man was calling her in such away. However, if Connie had seen Friend as dangerous instead of just another man, her kidnapping might have been prevented. Later in the story when Friend showed up as Connie’s house, she walked outside and talked to him instead of questioning how he knew where she lived or calling the police. Oates described Connie's interaction with Friend by stating,“Connie liked the way he was dressed, which was the way all of them dressed: tight faded jeans stuffed into black, scuffed boots, a belt that pulled his waist in and showed how lean he was, and a white pullover shirt that was a little soiled and showed the hard muscles of his arms and shoulders”(pg.1145).
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
To summarize this essay, there are several points that highlight differences between the two films, yet the overall context of the film remains the same. One common theme that tends to drive the force between the reasoning in why the two films have varying aspects is because they were made for slightly different audiences at different times in society. Though both versions of the movie have small portions that vary from one another, the main emphasis is the same and both versions are loved by the
Because the lack of family support and guidance, Connie lies to her parents of her whereabouts, and she sneaks away to local hangouts. While being out, she unfortunately catches the eye of Arnold Friend. This man will erase Connie’s innosense and expose her to how cruel the world can actually be. Many literary
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.