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Temptation By An Evil Spirit: "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been," Written By Joyce Carol Oates

1797 words - 8 pages

We know there are a lot of dangers here, there, and everywhere. But we usually don't care about it so much. In the story, "Where are you Going, Where Have You Been," written by Joyce Carol Oates, there is a clear interpretation of evil in Arnold Friend and how he pulled Connie into a dark world of sex and emotion. Oates extracts scenes of real life and adds them into her story. There are many clues in the story that hint Arnold Friend is not a friend at all, but is in fact a demon that came to take Connie away. The reality Oates implies in her story is to explain there are demons like Arnold out in real life.First, Arnold's appearance hints that he is a demon. Arnold is described, "There ...view middle of the document...

Schmid had been charged with the murders of three teen-age girls, and was the subject of a lengthy article in the March 4, 1966, issue of Life magazine. It is not surprisingly that this account should have generated mythic musings in Miss Oates…. (Schulz and Rockwood 526)It is no wonder that Arnold should be pictured as a demon because this story is related to the actual murder story. Connie views Arnold as an evil character and by his action, the way he tries to force her into wanting to go for a ride, showing up unannounced, telling her he knew her from her friends even though she knew nothing of him, and not letting her know why this car ride was necessary.In addition, Arnold's evilness was described in his physical appearance to his grin and eyes. For example, He is described, "he grinned so broadly his eyes became slits and she saw how thick the lashes were, thick and black as if painted with a black tar-like material" (Oates 516). The author uses a description such as this to illustrate an inhuman quality in a human form. As Arnold kept on talking to Connie, she could not figure out what to decide, his words were mesmerizing to her, but at the same time sending threats if she did not follow his orders. Before the threat Arnold is perceived as a pushy jerk with a crush on Connie, but then his personality shifts to upset and threaten like. This is when Connie attempts to call the police and the true side of Arnold is revealed; the demonic side of Arnold Friend. But, some people say he is not a demon. Mike Tierce and John Michael Crafton state, in their article, "from Connie's Tambourine Man: A New Reading of Arnold Friend,"Arnold is the personification of popular music,…and as such, Connie's interaction with him is a musically induced fantasy, a kind of "magic carpet ride" in "a convertible jalopy painted gold." Rising out of Connie's radio, Arnold Friend…is a magical, musical messiah; he persuades Connie to abandon her father's house. As a manifestation of her own desires, he frees her from the limitations of a fifteen-year-old girl, assisting her maturation by stripping her of her childlike vision. (Tierce and Crafton 532)Although it's interesting view of Arnold, it is simply bluff produced in desperation. Many articles have been said, like Schulz and Rockwood's article, this story and the character of Arnold are based on real murder story, so it is absolutely certain that he is an incarnate fiend, and he came to take Connie's life.Besides Arnold's physical appearance which makes the reader assume that he is not a human being. Oates gives him supernatural powers. Such as, the power he has to know everything about Connie in less than a days time. Actually, he seemed to know too much about everything and everyone to only be a person especially one who is not from around the same area as Connie. He said, "I took a special interest in you, such a pretty girl, and found out all about you-like I know your parents and sister...

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