Arnold Friend Character Analysis

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The Perfect Devil In her fictional story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?,” Joyce Carol Oates tells the thrilling story of a gullible fifteen year old girl named Connie ,whose privacy is violated when a stranger named Arnold Friend pulls up in her driveway and gestures her to join him for a ride. Arnold Friend is a character that is flamboyant, friendly in appearance, and emanates all the qualities of the perfect “prince charming”. Oates has written a story which gives us a twisted take on a traditional tale, but with a biblical overtone. She is constantly hinting the battle between the good and bad. However, this is an epiphany which many readers might not understand until the very last page. Connie is the very epitome of how any teenage girl might feel in today’s society; she is isolated and lost. She is constantly battling not only with herself and her identity, but also the endless comparison with her sister, June. The author uses descriptive language to portray the differences between the two characters: “She was…show more content…
She willingly could not call for help because she voluntary followed the instructions given by the Evil “Friend”, “That’s a good girl. Put the phone back” (871). This fear that Arnold Friend had ignited in her simply surrendered and Connie’s defeat resulted in not only physical rape, but a spiritual loss of her own self. In many ways, Oates is also referencing that as human beings, it’s essential to reach the edge, because the edge is where the truth resides. The edge is where Connie is no longer ambivalent to anything, and she understands the world on a fundamental level. However, it’s also a warning not to let the search of self independence lead you into making the wrong choices. The end is left as a paradox, of an ultimate fairytale. A prince who came into Connie’s carefully crafted world and left nothing but
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