Free Essay

Where Have You Been Where Are You Going

In: English and Literature

Submitted By aric9080
Words 525
Pages 3
Ashland Rice
Ryan Brown
ENG 113
9/5/14
We have all been told about signs from God at some point in our life. It could be a person, certain place or thing that is sending this sign. In the short story, "Where have you been, where are you going?" By Joan Carol Oates, Connie is the main character. Connie seems to con herself, for example, she met a guy named Arnold Friend at a restaurant and he shows up at her house one Sunday afternoon. Connie at first does not know who it is and then once she realizes who it is, she does not go straight out of the door with him, it takes her a while to actually goes off with him. “She pretended to fidget, chasing flies away from the door” (208). Her(Connie) name goes along with her personality great and this situation. Where they first met, the restaurant is shaped like an old church and the background music is like that of a church sermon (206). The author uses this as a sign from God to Connie to warn her about Arnold but she does not realize it. It does not even dong on her that what’s really going on. In reality, Arnold is trying to figure out who Connie really is. Later on, Oates describes how Arnold is dressed with great detail. A mask, dark clothes, and items stuffed into his boots to make him look taller. The way he is describing, it’s a little weird and creepy. “Tight faded jeans stuffed into black scuffed boots, a belt that pulled his waist in…”(208). I believe that Arnold is some sort of the devil, Satan. In the text, on page 208, it talks of the way he tries to con Connie into coming with her. “ You wanta come for a ride?, don’tcha like my car? New paint job.” Also, he added “you’re cute”. (208) This overall sounds just like Satan, himself. It seems that he has been stalking her for quite a while. I found this an important point in the text because, he knew EXACTLY every move she took and when her parents were gone and where they were.
Of course, he is a serial killer. He has thought about this for quite a while.
Another example of how Arnold is Satan, or a form of him, is that Satan appeals to people who are struggling either mentally or emotionally. And always is in disguise, like Arnold is. As for such on page 209 Oates writes “she could see then that he wasn’t a kid, he was much older, thirty, maybe more. At this knowledge her heart began to pound faster.” In a way I believe that Arnold was struggling to get attention and he knew that Connie was a very attractive lady and was attracted to the pop culture of that time period and that was his only way of getting a chance with her. Arnold would speak in song lyrics, like Oates states on page 209 “he spoke in a simple lilting voice, exactly as if he were reciting the words to a song.

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