Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Arnold Friend Character Analysis

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Rochelly Mojica Professor Hearst English 102.0859 8 November 2017 The Devil In Disguise: In Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates takes everyday life situations and turns them into something much more realistic, by showing the dark and uncut version through her writing. She was an author born in Lockport, New York, who developed a passion for writing. Oates then went on to becoming a very successful author who wrote novels, stories, and even poetry. In her story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, there’s a character named Arnold Friend who has an evil to him. I argue that Arnold Friend is the devil, and here’s why. The story starts off with being introduced to Connie, a fifteen…show more content…
“I know everybody” (Oates 64). This refers back to the devil because besides Jesus, what other person actually knows everybody. Arnold drew an “x” in the air, which he says that it’s his “sign”, it stood there even after he put his hands down (Oates 65). If the sign was to be turned over, then it would be a cross. That’s another example of how Arnold Friend is in fact, the devil. Connie ends up realizing that Arnold Friend seems to be much older, and seems more frightened now. Back to the devil read, she says that her father will be coming back and Arnold seemed to be describing exactly what they were doing, as if he was right there. Any normal person would not be able to do that. As the confrontation continues between the two, Arnold states, “honey, I’m not coming in there but you are coming out here” (Oates 67). It has been said that the devil isn’t allowed to come inside a place unless he is invited, or if you go out to him. The narrator states, “the boots must have been stuffed with something so that he would seem taller” (Oates 68). It seemed animal like, as if he had hooves, similar to satan. Furthermore, Connie was growing tired of what was happening, and didn’t know what else to do. She was starting to feel this feeling of emptiness, and was starting to give in. “He ran a fingernail down the screen”, signifying that he could have claws, just like the devil has (Oates 71). Reaching the end of the story, Arnold states, “You don’t want them to get hurt” (Oates 71). She ends up making a “christ like” sacrifice in order to save her family, and so she ends up walking towards Arnold Friend, and there’s the ending. Connie “crossed over”, and it never explains what happened after. Through various things like temptation, the 33 19 and 17 numbers, the description of Arnold Friend, the X, all
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