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Literary Analysis: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

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Thus, an elusive nature of this character can be seen in Connie’s inability to consider him as an integrated male character and his intention “speaking to someone behind Connie” (Commentary on Oates, 2010). Thus, he is not a real lover; he is an allusion and a ghost of seduction. The second conceptual framework “Arnold Friend is a forbidden fruit” can be traced in Connie’s attempts to reveal a bizarre nature of this man. She wants to find out what is his real intention, why does he pretend to be a teenager, because he is a man of thirty; why does he try to look taller and many other questions occur as well.

The more she tries to reveal his puzzle, the more she becomes confused and intrigued by an elusive nature of this character. A suggestion that this character is a forbidden fruit can be explained by a blurred nature of the character, which comprises common features of pop idols and the Devil: “Hes the Matthew McConaughey character from Dazed and Confused, the guy who still hangs out at high school waaaay after hes graduated.

But hes also got qualities that a long literary tradition associates with evil – like Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost or Dostoyevsky’s devil in the Brothers Karamazov” (Hass, 2003). Thus, it is no wonder that Arnold Friend is the reflection of romantic and sexual fantasies of Connie; she is seduced by him, but she tries to control her feelings. If to draw parallels between the character of Arnold Friend and his religious background, we can talk about Judah’s image. He is a Friend, who is not a Friend, he keeps his promises, but they are nothing more than threats (Dessommes, 1994).

A terrifying and a seductive nature of Arnold Friend’s character is a riddle that cannot be read by the girl; it is a fruit that is so close but is cannot be torn. A third interpretation of “Arnold Friend as a fleshly sin” or a conceptual interpretation of Adam friend as the Devil can be proven by the way Connie constantly thinks about this character: “She cried out, she cried out for her mother, she felt her breath start jerking back and forth in her lungs as if it were something Arnold Friend were stabbing her with again and again with no tenderness.

A noisy sorrowful wailing rose all about her and she was locked inside it the way she was locked inside this house” (Oates). This sentence implies that there is a ghostly spiritual and intimate contact between inner worlds of Connie, or it would be better to say between her inner intimate depths and invisible absorbing darkness of Arnold Friend’s seduction (Arnold Friend, Web).

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