Connie’s clothes and infatuation with her own beauty symbolize her lack of maturity or knowing her true self, which in the end enables her to be manipulated by Arnold Friend. Connie was enamored with her own beauty; in the beginning of the story Oates states that Connie “knew
she was pretty and that was everything” (225). This captivation with herself along with the constant looking in the mirrors and thinking her mother was only pestering her all the time because her mother’s own good looks were long gone by now (225) shows a sign of immaturity because she believes everything revolves around whether or not someo...
... middle of paper ...
...; he has evil intentions and evil behind every aspect of his being.
Oates’ use of the way Arnold looks and acts so similar to the devil, her use of the words on the car meaning something foreign and her subtle symbolism with Connie’s attire make the story’s theme of evil and manipulation stand out so much more. Connie’s clothing symbolizing
the lack of knowing her true self lets Arnold Friend overpower her in the end. The words and letters on Arnold’s car symbolize warnings that Connie should have picked up on. Because Arnold symbolizes the devil, the evil inside of him gives him advantages to manipulate Connie into leaving her house, despite everything inside of Connie screaming at her not to go. The symbolisms in these objects or people are all deeply rooted to the theme of this short story, “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?”.
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