Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

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In the following essay, Tierce and Crafton seek to reinterpret previous critical characterizations of Arnold Friend as a satanic figure and instead draw parallels between him and folksinger Bob Dylan.

The critical reception of Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" reveals a consistent pattern for reducing the text to a manageable, univocal reading. Generally, this pattern in volves two assumptions: Arnold must symbolize Satan and Connie must be raped and murdered. No critic has yet questioned Joyce Wegs' assertion that "Arnold is clearly a symbolic Satan." Marie Urbanski argues that Arnold's "feet resemble the devil's cloven hoofs," Joan Winslow calls the story "an encounter with the devil," Tom Quirk maintains the story describes a "demoniac character," and Christina Marsden Gillis refers to "the satanic visitor's incantation." Wegs' assertion that Arnold is "a criminal with plans to rape and probably murder Connie" is also...

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This section contains 1,624 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Study Guide
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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.