Books and Movies Reviews

Where are you going

"Where are you going, where have you been?" is a short story written by Joyce Carols Oates, which describes a strange man named Arnold Friend who is obsessed over a young teenager named Connie. Arnold Friend is much older than Connie and cannot be said to be like a child, yet he lures Connie out by using imagery from childhood. He talks to her partly like a lover and a person of authority, he fakes listening to her and guides the conversation into the direction favored by him. Throughout the short story Joyce mainly focus on how Arnold is a devil.
In the short story, Oates' writing has the reader to believe that Arnold Friend represents Satan. For example, Arnold Friend states twice to Connie that he will not enter the house without her permission. In one of these situations he defines Connie picking up the telephone as giving him permission to enter the house. This means that Arnold is a demon because referring to the ancient belief that a demon cannot enter a house without an invitation. In addition, Arnold wears "tight faded jeans stuffed into black, scuffed boots, and a belt that is pulled to his waist and showed how lean he was"(5) and Arnold ask Connie if she see him putting his sign in the air when she meet him the other night, which is an "X" (7). Back in the days if a devil has passed you they will leave an "X" on you that mean you're their next victim. Some of the reason for Arnold's unsure footedness was that his boots were supporting a cloven hoof, as some traditions hold that a demon would have. Throughout the story Oates describe Arnold Friend as a symbolic figure of a devil.
Arnold Friend tries many ways to get Connie out of her house by hiding his appearance and lying to Connie. For example, when Connie asked Arnold how old he is and he tells her that he's 18 years old but he really looks like he is over thirty (7). Arnold lied about his age becaus…


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