When one approaches the reading and looks actively, between the lines of each story, you can detect each of the author's small but still distinct undertones that connects religion in both stories. In "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been", the author notes that Arnold's shoes didn't fit, and it look as if he had stuffed rags into his boots to make himself appear taller than his actual height. Oates continues on, stating "One of his boots was at a strange angle, as if his foot wasn't in it. It pointed to the left, bent at the ankle.” This could be interpreted through a religious standpoint that Arnold’s shoes didn't fit because inside he had hooves instead of feet, referring Arnold to be the Devil in search of Connie, as it is also known that the Devil was said to have had a pair of hooves that he took extreme measures to hide from
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.
Home is where the heart is, but what if home is no longer safe? Joyce Carol Oates explores this concept in her 1966 short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”. On surface level, this story appears to discuss a rebellious young girl named Connie and her confrontation with Arnold Friend, a stalker. The ending leaves the reader to assume that Arnold Friend plans to sexually assault the young girl. However, looking beyond what is initially shown, a new context can adhered to the plot. Carl Jung’s theory of archetypal patterns delves into the human psyche by analyzing its parts. According to Jung, the human mind is split into three different parts; the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious- which can be split into many different archetypes that impact personality (McLeod). Oates uses archetypes and symbolism to show the battle of a young girl trying make her own home and identity in a world that
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. Oates unexpectedly adds allusions to fairy tales throughout the story that suggest a much deeper meaning than the initial realistic interpretation. The use of fairy tales adds a vitally important element to the story that evil can be lurking in unexpected places.
One psychological issue of Connie that is easily inferred from the beginning of the story is her insecurity about her looks. Connie constantly worries about the way that she looks and takes any opportunity to do so, “craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people's faces to make sure her own was all right” (1). Connie does this because she needs to be reassured that she is in fact pretty. On top of this, Connie acknowledges that her beauty is “everything”(1). This statement implies that if perhaps Connie was not beautiful, she would have nothing. Furthermore, when Arnold Friend pulls up at Connie’s house, her heart begins to pound not because there is a stranger at her door, but because she is “wondering how bad she looked”(2). Even when faced with possible danger,
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” is about a teenager named Connie who is trying to come to terms with her transformation from childhood to adulthood. Through this process, Connie attempts to act older than she is an tries to gain the attention of boys. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” Joyce Oates portrays Connie as obsessed with men to symbolize how one’s obsession and narcissistic attitude can cause danger to seem surreal.
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.
This quote represents the differences between Connie's behavior, including her laughter, at home versus in public. The mention of a charm bracelet reminds readers of Connie's femininity and youth while the use of the words cynical and drawling reminds the readers of masculinity. This shows how Connie tries to appear extra feminine, and therefore sexier when in public. This quote compares a religious building to a restaurant, representing the social and cultural world that Connie lives in. This allows the audience to have an enhanced understanding of the conditions of the society surrounding Connie so that they can have a superior understanding of her actions. This quote also shows what is important to Connie since her church is essentially a restaurant and her prayer is essentially music. In this quote, Oates portrays Arnold Friend as an animal, specifically a hawk or bird of prey. This foreshadows that Arnold Friend will prey on Connie and that his presence represents danger. Lastly, Arnold Friend threatening to collapse the house represents him threatening her childhood and the world that she knows since that is what her home
A lot of literary critics side to one or the other. However it should be recognized as both. All of the hints and clues to Arnold Friend being portrayed as the devil are logical and make sense. Just the same way he is a representation of Charles Schmid is also correct. Joyce Carol Oates is tying in two possible themes, which both work together in harmony. Sanford Pinsker conducted an interview with Oates and asked the question “Do you generally move from shorter units of the imagination to longer ones…?” (Pinsker 241). To which Oates replies, “I begin with an idea, the “idea” of trying to create in words a “religious consciousness” set in a recognizable United States, in the era of Born-Again politicians and other hazards to one 's mental health” (Oates 242). This statement proves completely that “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” is capable and was created to share the two possible
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. 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.
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.
The short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates is about a teenage girl named Connie who is in the mist of her adolescent rebellion. She wants to prove her maturity to others and herself. In the story, Oates describes that Connie always lets her mind flow freely in between her daydream. She even creates and keeps dreaming about her ideal male figure in her mind to make her happy and satisfied. Oates allows the reader to step into Connie’s “dream world” through the appearance of Arnold Friend. 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.
shows the readers that that vanity and lack of self-awareness can make some vulnerable and easily fall for the evilness of the world. Because Connie became vulnerable, she was easily persuaded by Arnold, who was portrayed as the Devil figure and the darkness that exists, to leave her the known safety of her home and to embark on the road to the unclear future. Oates’s story teaches the readers to be cautious of their surroundings and of the people that are unfamiliar to them that live in the same society. That is because even if someone appears to look a certain way they might have a mask that hides the true darkness and evilness that is in their body and
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.
In what ways would you transform when presented with a life or death situation? In the prevailing and fast-paced short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joan Carol Oates we find out how much a person can change when crucial and demanding situations arise. In this short story the self-indulged protagonist, Connie will have to face her worse nightmares that she believed would be her ultimate fantasy. Connie is a fifteen-year-old girl who, like most young women, are ruled by their hormones and budding sexualities. She is a flighty teen who does not get along with her family and wishes to be an adult. At first glance, we are made to believe that Connie is a static character through her infuriating naivety and cliché persona. When we delve into the story we see the altruistic and sincere characteristics, which