According to popular belief, the character in question, Arthur Friend, is essentially the devil, or if not the fiend himself, a reasonable symbolic facsimile that serves to represent a similarly sinister aspect of society. There’s such a plethora of textual evidence to support this analysis that it’s often skipped over in discussions in favor of more “thought provoking” conversation. However, the demonic illustration of A. Friend is so present in the story that to skip it would be to unforgivably neglect an integral part of the story. In nearly every detail of description resides a sometimes insidious demonic allusion. The physical appearance being the most present, it describes Arthur as a man beh...
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...ert explanation of the character, the audience would be able to see that Arnold meant exactly what she intended him to mean, and then could move onto the next aspect of the story. This would have cleared up the audience disconnect that currently remains present in her painfully dense story. Her choice to veil her main antagonist with so much symbolism hindered the reader’s ability to understand her story, thereby hurting any intended effect the story was to have.
Nmachiavelli, et al. “Question: What do the numbers 33, 19, 17 signify in the story? They are written along the side of Arnold Friend’s car.” Enotes.com. Enotes.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2010.
Oates, Joyce Carol. Where are You Going, Where Have You Been? N.p.: Epoch, 1966. N. pag. Print.
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