Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates
Is Arnold Friend the Devil in disguise in Joyce Carol Oates' short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" If one were to look at the facts surrounding the actual event this story was based on, any assumption that "Friend" was anything but a man would be thrown out due to logic. However, if one were to look at the story alone, he could concede that Friend is indeed the Devil or at least the Devil's angel.
First, there is the physical description of Arnold Friend. His "shaggy, shabby black hair that looked crazy as a wig," (591) his nose, "long and hawk-like," (592) and his eyes that "were like chips of broken glass" (592) all suggest that he is evil in …show more content…
Lastly, Oates uses irony and symbolism to convey the possibility that Arnold Friend is the Devil. The main section of the story ironically takes place on Sunday. Sunday is the Holy day and Friend, in all probability, feels that by degrading God, he is proving himself more powerful. Oates uses his name, Friend, as symbolic irony. Arnold is inevitably evil, and Oates uses his name to represent him as a Devil's Advocate playing both sides. "After his hand fell back to his side the X was still in the air, almost visible" (593). The X is a sign of evil, and Friend tells Connie that it is his sign. This could also imply that Friend was putting a "spell" on Connie to make her obey and succumb to his every demand. The numbers (33, 19, 17)