Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Essay

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Rubin is a critic, professor of English, and an award-winning poet. In the following essay, he comments on Joyce M. Wegs's characterization of Arnold Friend as the devil in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, " but also suggests that the story is nothing but Connie's dream.

In a recent essay Joyce M. Wegs brilliantly establishes the satanic identity of the sinister Arnold Friend, young Connie's abductor and probable rapist-murderer in Joyce Carol Oates's widely anthologized short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" On another level, the psychological level, she points out that Arnold is "the incarnation of Connie's unconscious erotic desires and dreams, but in uncontrollable nightmare form." I would go a step further and suggest that, on still another level, the whole terrifying episode involving Arnold Friend is itself a dream-a fantasy that Connie falls into on a sleepy Sunday afternoon...

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This section contains 1,305 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Study Guide
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