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Allegory in “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been”

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    Joyce Carol Oates uses an allegorical figure of evil to illustrate the theme of temptation. Oates alludes to hell through the character Arnold Friend, as the devil, and his victim Connie, who invites him in by committing the sin of vanity. The narrator implies that Arnold Friend is Satan by giving certain clues that the reader can easily deduce.The narrator implies that Arnold Friend is Satan by giving certain clues that the reader can easily deduce.

    This story is about a young girl , at the edge of adulthood. Just like any other teenager this character was sneaking around, going to a drive-in restaurant to meet boys rather than going to the movies like she was suppose to. She is rebellious and self-centered and has a bad relationship with her mother and sister. One night at the restaurant Connie sees a boy named Eddie and she leaves her friend to follow him to his car. As they exit the burger joint, Connie spies a boy in a bright gold car smiling at her. Connie spends much of her time daydreaming about boys and love in a general and vague way. Though she fights with her mother constantly, she suspects her mother prefers her to June because of her beauty. Connie’s mother spends most of her time roaming around the house in slippers and gossiping with her sisters.

    The following weekend, Connie’s family is going to a barbecue but Connie opts to stay home so she can listen to music and hang out. At the drive-in she first meets Arnold Friend who creepily makes a ‘sign’ in the air and let’s her know that he’s after her. She shrugs it off as a creepy guy. Arnold Friend and his sidekick Ellie show up in his gold convertible. At first Connie thinks it’s interesting and she flirts with him. Connie walks out to the front-porch, where the boy asks her to come for a ride and tells her she’s “cute”. He invites her to come look at the other side of the car but Connie refuses, staying in the doorway. When he asks her to come for a ride again, Connie claims she has “things to do,” provoking his amusement. Connie likes the way Arnold Friend is dressed: like a teenager from the 1950s or 1960s. Connie asks where he would take her and Arnold Friend seems amused by the idea of a ride having a destination. Connie asks the men to leave, but Arnold Friend refuses to leave without her. But then she realizes he’s there to take her.Connie asks the men to leave, but Arnold Friend refuses to leave without her. After she runs in the house and makes a failed attempt to call for help, he lures her out. He threatens her and her family if she doesn’t cooperate. As if under a spell, Connie obeys him and the story ends with her walking down the path to the car. The implication is that she will never return.

    In Conclusion, the narrator implies that Arnold Friend is Satan by giving certain clues that the reader can easily deduce. The name that Oates gives to the character is one hint to the reader: “Connie looked away from Friend’s smile to the car, which was painted so bright it almost hurt her eyes to look at it.The narrator implies that Arnold Friend is Satan by giving certain clues that the reader can easily deduce. The name that Oates gives to the character is one hint to the reader: “Connie looked away from Friend’s smile to the car, which was painted so bright it almost hurt her eyes to look at it.The narrator implies that Arnold Friend is Satan by giving certain clues that the reader can easily deduce. The name that Oates gives to the character is one hint to the reader: “Connie looked away from Friend’s smile to the car, which was painted so bright it almost hurt her eyes to look at it.

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    Allegory in “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been”. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/allegory-in-where-are-you-going-where-have-you-been/

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