ROUGH DRAFT

ROUGH DRAFT - Joyce Carol Oates is an author that seems to...

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Joyce Carol Oates is an author that seems to just write about love and tragedy. Oates’ short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is based on a true story. “Tom Quirk convincingly demonstrates Oates closely modeled her story on Charles Schmid’s murder of Alleen Rowe in the fall of 1965, just prior to the 1966 publication of “Where Are you Going?” in Epoch. Oates mentioned this influence in an interview when she said that the story came to her ‘after reading about a killer in some Southwestern state’” (Coulthard, 1). “Oates’ view of sexuality acknowledges its embodiment of our hunger for purpose; she also notes that love must be acknowledged as a violent and unstoppable force, not simply an instinctive urge to achieve rest or transcendence” (Waller, 17). In Oates’ short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Connie, a teenage girl, spends most of her time day dreaming about boys. Throughout the story she meets a man, Arnold Friend, who eventually rapes and murders Connie. Oates uses symbolism throughout the story, which helps the readers focus more on the characters, these symbols, and their meanings. The characters’ names in the story are thought to each have a specific meaning. In the story Arnold Friend seems very intimidating by the way he talks to Connie, making smart remarks to her like “’I’m gonna getcha baby,’ and ‘I know my Connie’”(Oates, 382-85). Arnold also tells Connie not to worry because he is her “friend,” but the dropping of the two R’s transforms Arnold Friend’s name into “an old fiend” (Easterly, 538). A fiend is “an evil spirit; devil”(Webster’s, 242). “Many of the clues regarding Friend’s appearance suggest both Satan or a satyr since the physiognomy of both beings developed from the same source: the goat-god, Pan” (Easterly, 538). This is only a couple of the warning signs that may hint to the reader that Arnold Friend is not a nice person. “To complete the physical details usually associated with
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such creatures, Friend could be hiding a satyr’s tail in his tight jeans ‘that showed his thighs and buttocks’” (Easterly, 538). Connie’s name however, “suggests one who is ‘conned’ but, in a
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This note was uploaded on 05/18/2011 for the course ENGL 1002 taught by Professor Anderson during the Fall '05 term at LSU.

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ROUGH DRAFT - Joyce Carol Oates is an author that seems to...

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