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"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been":

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Lindsey Huff

on 25 February 2014

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Transcript of "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been":

"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been":
An Analysis of Allegorical Aspects

Symbolism of Characters
Arnold Friend: Several qualities of this character connect him strongly to Satan, the main enemy of God in Christian theology. First, his name is close to one of the Devil's traditional titles, "An Old Fiend." He also appears as a deceiver, a man who is older than he looks and tries to sound as though he is part of Connie's generation. His stuffed shoes could be interpreted as hiding the cloven feet that the Devil is said to have. Finally, the role he plays as one who tempts an innocent to sin parallels that of Satan.
Other Types of Symbolism
When Arnold Friend says that the dent in his car got it by a crazy woman driver, it represents sin being put onto women.

Elli is listening to rock n' roll, during this time rock n' roll is considered the music of the devil.

The golden Jalopy represents material wealth or even false weath.
33 19 17
These numbers represent the Biblical verse Judges 19:17:

"When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked "Where are you going? Where did you come from?"
All of these symbols describe the devil and characteristics he is said to have.
An Allegory is a story that can be interpreted in a way which reveals additional levels of meaning. Such stories are often characterized by the symbolism of their characters, events, dialogue, etc. Joyce Carol Oates's short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been," is a clear example of this type of literature by virtue of the symbolism that is prevalent throughout the author's writing.
"Connie" is a name with Irish roots meaning "a strong-willed hero". This is likely not accidental, as Connie is not only the protagonist, but ends up sacrificing herself for the sake of her family. The role she plays in the story is that of the materially-guided sinner, ignoring the advice of her parents to drown in pleasures. This is presumably what draw's Arnold Friend to her.
Ellie Oscar
"Ellie" is a name which could easily be read as "Ally". His last name, Oscar, has Irish roots just as Connie's does, "Os" is a prefix which means "deer", while "cara" means "friend". Taken together, the phrase sounds like "dear friend."
June is the name of the Roman goddess of marriage. She represents the feminine qualities that Connie lacks.
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