She sees the boys who give her attention as subjugations who “dissolve into a single face that was not even a face but an idea” (Oates 675). But soon enough her dreams and music materialize into the shape of Arnold Friend. Arnold Friend is described as a muscular, older, and mysterious character. He seems to be a work of her imagination as he is ultimately an idea she created that would fit into her perfect fantasy world. Connie is defenseless to Arnold Friend’s manipulations mainly because she has no visible identity of her own.
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” written by Joyce Carol Oates is a story about fifteen year old Connie who’s world is changed after an encounter with a stranger. Connie’s paradigm is transformed during and after this event. At the beginning of the story, Connie’s worldview is one of vanity, which in turn leads to control. She is only focused on how she looks and how those around her appear as well. Oates writes that Connie “...knew she was pretty and that was everything.” The author describes Connie’s sister through her eyes as “...so plain and chunky and steady…” and also her mother as “...had been pretty once…” Connie will only see the people around her by their appearances and judges them solely on her opinions of their looks.
“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 short story, Carol Oates describes Connie as having two different personalities, one being a narcissistic attitude. Oates states, “Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home: her walk that could be childlike and bobbing, or languid enough
Analysis of Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates writes a gripping tale of terror about a young girl named Connie, who is faced with the dark and twisted hands of fate. Connie is a young teen, like many girls, self-absorbed and seeks self-value in the eyes of others. In her outings with friends, she comes across a man by the name of Arnold Friend. Oates lets the reader know immediately that there is something disturbing about this character. As the story progresses, Connie is left alone on a Sunday afternoon while her family is out.
In the short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, by Joyce Carol Oates, Connie met another character named Arnold Friend. Throughout their interactions Connie evolves in the story. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, Connie evolves as a character through Connie's relationship with her mother, interactions with Friend, and her emotional and physical status. Despite the way Connie's mother treated her “she knew she was pretty and that was everything” and she tried to keep her head held high (323). Connie's mother looked at her daughter with disgust as she talked down to her about her looks.
“But now her looks were gone and that was why she was always after Connie.” (Oates 614). Also, there is another opportunity for friendship within the family, between Connie and her sister, however, that is lost in their rivalry and hostility. “Her sister was so plain and chunky and steady that Connie had to hear her praised all the time – by her mother and her mother's sisters.” (Oates 614 ). Another reason why Connie why wants to be independent from her mother is because she does not want to be like her. “Her mother went scuffling around the house in old bathroom slippers…”( Oates 616).
One similarity between the film and short story is that Arnold Friend’s personality, looks, and intentions remain the same (Oates 327). If Friend’s character did not remain the same throughout both short story and film, the lesson that one should always have a plan in order prior to unexpected visits by strangers would have not been taught. The importance of Arnold Friend remaining the same helps raise awareness about rapists and how some may think. Joyce Chopra, the director of Smooth Talk, neatly portrayed Friend as a deceitful psychopath that was willing to do anything in order to share a car ride with
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. Disguising himself is a method he uses to ensure the she won’t immediately turn him down, but would at least consider his advances to get her
Oates uses Arnold Friend to convey evil through symbolism and figurative language. In this story, Arnold Friend is evil and acts like the devil because of how he manipulates Connie and uses of temptation. The author uses symbolism in the story. An example of this is, “And he drew an X in the air, leaning out toward her. They were maybe ten feet apart.
It is said that actions speak louder than words and it is true. Through the short story written by Joyce Carol Oates, the character Arnold friend displays his devil like qualities through: adoration, terror, and dishonesty. You never know people's intentions or what their motives are, so either be cautious or learn how to read