Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

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Throughout “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Arnold Friend is a very intimidating and mysterious character that is hard to figure out. Arnold knows everything about Connie, a teenage girl that he has never met before. He is very persistent with getting Connie to run away from her awful teenage life at home with him. Arnold’s appearance adds even more mystery to who he actually is. Arnold has a roughed up look to him, a secret code painted on his car that can be interpreted as a Bible verse, and he can not stand steady on his feet, because of all of these attributes Arnold appears that he is possibly Satan.
Arnold seems like the typical teenage cool guy with his roughed up look. In this short story, Joyce Oates says, “She recognized most things about him, the tight jeans that showed his thighs and buttocks and the greasy leather boots and the tight shirt, and even the slippery friendly smile of his, that sleepy dreamy smile that all the boys used to get across ideas they didn’t want to put into words” (Oates 5). Connie knows it is a bad idea to go for a car ride with him, but Arnold’s demeanor makes him almost irresistible. There is something so charming about Arnold that he can mesmerize almost any teenage girl to take interest in him. As Connie observes Arnold for even longer, she starts to pick up on some uncomforting things about his appearance. Oates writes, “She could see then that he wasn’t a kid, he was much older- thirty, maybe more” (Oates 5). As Connie takes a closer look at Arnold, she can tell that he is a grown middle-aged man. He is obviously much older than what he originally appeared to be. This makes Connie extremely scared. Then, Connie notices something off about Arnold’s hair when Arnold puts his sung...


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...Arnold’s car relates to the Bible, his lack of balance on his feet can also be related to Christianity. For Example, Satan is known to have cloven hooves as feet. This would make it hard for Arnold to walk properly if he has cloven hooves, given that he represents Satan.
Arnold represents Satan through his appearance, secret biblical numbers on his car, and hooved feet. Arnold seems to be disguised as a normal teenage boy, just like Satan disguised himself throughout the Bible to seem normal. The numbers on Arnold’s car relate to a passage in the Bible about an evil man taking advantage of a woman, just like Arnold is trying to take advantage of Connie. Arnold also might possibly have cloven hooves, like Satan is known to have, since he cannot walk or stand straight. The description of Arnold throughout this story represents that Arnold Friend is a cover up of Satan.

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