Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?": Arnold Fiend


Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?": Arnold Fiend
In Joyce Carol Oates' “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
critics argue whether the character of Arnold Friend, clearly the story's
antagonist, represents Satan in the story. Indeed, Arnold Friend is an
allegorical devil figure for the main reason that he tempts Connie, the
protagonist, into riding off with him in his car.
Oates characterizes Arnold Friend at first glance as “a boy with shaggy,
black hair, in a convertible jalopy painted gold”(581). She lets the reader
know that Arnold is not a teenager when Connie begins to notice the features
such as the painted eyelashes, his shaggy hair which looked like a wig, ...

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energy, so we should also be
sensitive to Arnold's multifaceted and creative nature”(Tierce and Crafton 608).
Mike Tierce and John Michael Crafton suggest that Arnold Friend is not a
diabolical figure, but instead a religious and cultural savior.
On a more realistic note, Joyce M. Wegs argues the symbolism of Arnold
Friend as a Satan figure when she writes: “Arnold is far more a grotesque
portrait of a psychopathic killer masquerading as a teenager; he also has all
the traditional, sinister traits of that arch deceiver and source of grotesque
terror, the devil”(616). She also writes about how the author sets up the idea
of a religious, diabolical figure when she links popular music and its values as
Connie's perverted version of a religion. Another hint is Arnold's almost
supernatural, mysterious knowledge about Connie, her family and her friends(Wegs
617).
The main reason why the reader would extract this diabolical symbol from
reading the story is that Arnold's ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/31/2006 07:29:51 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 554
Pages: 3

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