Temptation by an Evil Spirit: "Where are you Going, Where Have You Been," written by Joyce Carol Oates

Essay by piepieCollege, Undergraduate September 2007

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We know there are a lot of dangers here, there, and everywhere. But we usually don't care about it so much. In the story, "Where are you Going, Where Have You Been," written by Joyce Carol Oates, there is a clear interpretation of evil in Arnold Friend and how he pulled Connie into a dark world of sex and emotion. Oates extracts scenes of real life and adds them into her story. There are many clues in the story that hint Arnold Friend is not a friend at all, but is in fact a demon that came to take Connie away. The reality Oates implies in her story is to explain there are demons like Arnold out in real life.

First, Arnold's appearance hints that he is a demon. Arnold is described, "There were two boys in the car and now she recognizes the driver: he had shaggy, shabby black hair that looked as a crazy wig" (Oates 512).

The narrator emphasizes the "wig" to make the reader think that he's wearing it for a purpose, which is to hide his devil horns. Also, when Arnold Friend arrives at Connie's house, Connie has an uneasy feeling about him and feels violated by his presence. For instance, Arnold right away asks Connie, "You wanta come for a ride?" (Oates 513). Arnold seems to be pressuring Connie from the start and is obviously not there just to take her for a ride. The ride that Arnold talks of could possibly even have a sexual connotation that Connie does not pick up on because she is so young and blind to the world of sexual pleasures that Arnold lives in. Words were chosen carefully demonstrating Arnold friend was a devious snake with his actions. In the article, "from In Fairyland,