Religion And Mythology In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

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Religion and Mythology in Where are you going Where have you been “Where are you going, Where have you been” by Joyce Carol Oates is a short story abundant with symbolism and hidden meanings. People have interpreted thousands of different meanings for Oates’ story, showing even the smallest details to have significant meaning. The majority of this symbolism seems to focus around religion and mythology. Although Oates is an atheist there is almost irrefutable proof of religious meaning in her story, even the title itself having religious origins. One significant piece of symbolism is the comparison of Arnold Friend to a satyr or the Devil himself. A satyr is known for being half goat half man, having small horns, and goat legs. Some say that Friends hair could be used to cover his’s also known that he stuffs his shoes with something to make him look taller, or perhaps hide his hooves. Satyrs play music to lure women away into their arms, like how Friend does with the speaker Ellie is carrying. The final hint of evidence is that satyrs are known for how lustful they are, which is the only reason Friend is there.…show more content…
The paintings consisted of a skeletal or deathly figure, wooing a young maiden. The paintings were supposed to resemble humans fatal attractions. The art became very popular and even had plays and songs based on it. One song, titled “Death and the Maiden” by Franz Schubert, speaks of Death calling himself “Friend” and the maiden begging him not to touch her. Comparing these subjects of the painting to the characters of the story shows a resemblance between the ghastly figure of Friend and death, and between Connie and the Maiden with Connie constantly checking herself in mirrors. Oates herself has admitted “Death and the Maiden” was the original title for her

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