Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been Essay

987 Words Nov 5th, 2015 4 Pages
Arnold Friend, the omniscient inveigler and deceptive charmer of Joyce Carol Oates’, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” is evocative of the Devil himself. Through rich symbolism, dialogue, and characterization, Oates’ creates a twisted lie of a man whose every word is to be doubted. Friend is a great deceiver, a tempter to evil, for he not only invites Connie to her own rape and murder, but convinces her walk into his waiting arms. The first description of Arnold Friend tells of his shaggy black hair, gold jalopy, and unyielding grin, traits common amongst all the boys of Connie’s day. It is an intentional disguise, a way for Friend to blend in to the crowd, allowing him the freedom to pick and choose a victim without being noticed by the teens around him. This is comparable to Peter 5:8: “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (ESV, Peter, 5:8). He chooses Connie, offering a teasing, “Gonna get you, baby,” (316) as she walks by. The flaws in his costume begin to show throughout their second meeting. When he first pulls up to Connie’s house, she notes that his shabby hair looks “crazy as a wig,” though his grin is still in place; despite the faults of his appearance he is confident he can tempt Connie yet. For the first time, Connie takes note of the jalopy. It, “(is) painted so bright it almost hurt(s) her eyes to look at,” (319), similar to “the light” seen before death. It is covered in a pastiche of outdated…

Related Documents