The Not so Friendly, Arnold Friend

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Diana Barahona
ENG 102 B09
18 February 2012
Essay 1
The not so Friendly, Arnold Friend
In Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?,” Oates uses imagery to show the antagonist, Arnold Friend, as frightening and portrays many qualities of the devil. From the beginning Connie is shown as selfish and promiscuous and what easier target for the devil than a sinful teenager that’s only living for fun. Throughout the story, Arnold Friend has a Rock & Roll vibe that attracts Connie, yet the second she sees the slightest bit of confusions with him she starts to back off. Arnold Friend’s manipulation of Connie, an image that projects off of the pop culture, and knowledge of Connie’s life and surrounding gives the reader an image of the evil within Arnold Friend. The first reason that Arnold Friend gives off a frightening vibe is the way he can manipulate Connie into doing what he wants her to do. When Connie closes the screen door to go call the police, Arnold Friend tells her, “Soon as you touch the phone I don’t need to keep my promise and can come inside. You won’t want that” (Oates 625). When Connie picks up the phone she hears something on the other line, a type of roaring noise that you hear in those scary movies about the devil. Arnold also talks to Connie as if he were saying lyrics from one of her favorite songs knowing how willingly Connie will do anything to fit in with the culture music gives. Arnold Friend tells Connie, “We’ll go out to a nice field, out in the country here where it smells so nice and it’s sunny…I’ll have my arms around you so you won’t need to try to get away and I’ll show you what love is like, what it does” (Oates 628). He goes on saying sweet things to Connie to make her come out behind the screen door and come over to him, but she does not seem to come to him because of how kind he says his words, but because of the fear that has built up from them. Arnold Friend was almost narrating the next few...
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