Essay by neenapawan February 2004

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The persona of a psychopath appears to be much like any human. In many cases, one would not be able to "pick them out of a crowd". Their minds, however, differ greatly from most. A psychopath is extremely smart and methodical in thinking and most often is very meticulous in the way in which he/she acts. While many people are not thinking beyond the norm, a psychopath thinks about every breath, step, and word a person lets out into the open. In the short story "Where are you going, Where have you been?" by Joyce Carol Oates, the depiction of a psychopath is quite apparent. His mannerism, thoughts and tactic all create the perfect portrayal of a truly deranged character. Arnold Friend follows Connie from the beginning of the story. When Connie finally notices his presence, "he [stares] at her and then his lips widened...and there he was still watching her," (Oates 589), revealing his true desires and aspirations.

Arnold not only wants to kill Connie, but to see and understand every breath she takes. Although unaware of his closeness, it becomes quite apparent that Arnold Friend is stalking Connie when he states, "I know my Connie" (Oates 592). In Arnold's mind, Connie is a component of his game that he must figure out. Bringing fear to Connie's eyes, Arnold states, "I know your name and all about you, lots of things" (Oates 592), truly proving his demented intentions. Recalling seeing Connie at the drive-in the night before and had "wagged a finger and laughed," saying "Gonna get you, baby" in response to Connie's smirk (Barstow 2577), divulging his true obsession with Connie. Although Arnold pursues Connie stealthily, there are many other elements to his psychopathic mind. Arnold Friend's mannerisms augment his deranged intellect. When confronting Connie,