Where Have You Been Joyce Carol Arnold Character Analysis

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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been is a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates about a young girl, named Connie, snatched away in the night by an illusive man. The first first impression we get was that of a regular teenage boy with an abundance of confidence and charm. Later on in the text Arnold's character develops further, when he swiftly beings to playing games with Connie's fragile mind by twisting his words, putting his words in her mouth, constantly influencing her to come out through gentle threats. Arnold Fiend speaks frequently but reveals virtually nothing about himself, a common trait for emotionally manipulative people. But what he does reveal is nothing but a facade. He is someone who is able to zero in on one’s weakness such as Connie’s romantic fantasies. He preyed on such fantasies by behaving as a typical bad boy archetype, wooing her off her feet and offering her elope from her mundane suburban somber. “ ‘I ain’t late, am I?’ He said. ‘Who the hell do you think you are?’ Connie said. ‘Toldja I’d be out, didn’t I?’ ‘I don’t even know who you are.’ “ (Oates)…show more content…
Because of the complexity of his role, we can easily claim that Arnold Friend is a dynamic, round character with a charming but controlling personality. But the antagonist, Arnold Friend, is no ordinary person- He is the embodiment of Atropos. Atropos being a Greek deity known as part of the Moirai-goddesses who, in greek mythos, controlled the absolute fate of both humans and gods-or more specifically, the one who cuts the thread of life. Arnold came into Connie's life near to what us as readers can assume is the end of her life and cuts away at the things holding her to the rest of the world, threatening her family and threatening to forcefully take her. Arnold says he, like Death itself, can not be
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