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.
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
This literary piece undoubtedly is an allusion to a religious allegory and also a representation of contemporary events. There are several examples in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” that would relate it to a religious allegory. Arnold Friend is a seemingly mysterious character that possess almost all knowing information about Connie. When Friend arrives at her house, he knows her name without Connie ever mentioning it to which she replies “I never said my name was Connie” (Oates 163). Arnold is also knowledgeable about who Connie associates with, “your best girl friends name is Betty… Betty Shultz and Tony Fitch and Jimmy Pettinger and Nancy Pettinger” (Oates 163-164).
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
The story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates, is a one where the idea of how girl who struggles with wanting to be a mature woman, faces her demon full form. The protagonist of the story is Connie, a 15-year-old rebel girl, obsessed with her look; and through fault of her own, meets the antithesis of herself, the antagonist of the story, Arnold Friend. Connie seeks to be a mature adult and desires an emancipation from her family. Seeing herself as mature woman through the desires of her attraction by other boys and men, as well as her mother. Its this same desire which acts as the main fault for her character.
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
Arnold is someone who knows every detail about Connie’s lifestyle and supposedly wants to be with her. The dialogue between her and Arnold makes her come to the realization of growing up. In, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” I believe that Oates is conveying the nature of adolescence through symbolism, tone, and
I believe that in the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” false perception V.S. reality is seen. The main theme in this short story is the conflict between fantasy and reality. One of the main characters in this short story is Connie. She tries very hard to create an adult persona.