A Literature Analysis

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20 September 2021

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Joyce Carol Oates attributes the creation of “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been? ” to Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and the article she read “about a killer in the American Southwest”, she also thought-about “the legends and folks songs connected with the subject of “Death and the Maiden”’ when creating this story (Latta 1). Oates was well known for writing about “the non secular, sexual, and intellectual decline of recent American society” writing about such issues as suicide, rape and murder (eNotes.

com, sect.2).

Oates was also excited about exploring the assorted elements of adolescence through her writing (Schwartz, 1). Critics have broadly argued over the influences of “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been? ” and the true id of Arnold Friend. Little attention has been given to the music integrated into the story and the apparent similarities of the antagonist, Arnold Friend to legendary singer, Bob Dylan. This essay will explore Bob Dylan’s musical influence on “Where Are You Going?

Where Have You Been? ” by interpreting the track, “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and the similarities between the 2 in addition to figuring out bodily characteristic similarities between Dylan and Friend.

Oates dedicated this story to Bob Dylan; which provides interpreters of this story simply cause to assume Dylan’s music in the course of the Sixties greatly influenced the characters and scenes of “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been? ” Critics nevertheless do not agree as to who Arnold Friend represents.

Most critics feel that Arnold represents the devil and evil, similar to Joyce Wegs’ and Marie Urbanski who argue that Arnold is evil and his outward look represents the satan.

Some critics however feel that Arnold represents a religious or cultural savior (Jordan). It is unrealistic to assume that Arnold Friend is any savior similar to Mike Tierce and John Michael Crafton counsel in “Connie’s Tambourine Man: A New Reading of Arnold Friend” (Jordan). It seems more than likely that Arnold is a creation of Oates which had the appearance of Bob Dylan as a outcome of she was impressed by him which many critics have already noted.

Another argument made by a small portion of critics is that Arnold didn’t actually exist but was quite a figment of Connie’s creativeness such as McConnell states in “Connie’s Tambourine Man: A New Reading of Arnold Friend” the place he writes, “Connie is the framer, the story creator—and the diabolic traces in her fiction frighten her not because they’re the manifestations of an out of doors evil but as a end result of they’re the symbolic extrapolations of her personal psyche” (1). There is not any cause to suppose that Connie, a 15 12 months old lady would imagine such a threatening older individual.

When Connie daydreams, she thinks of “the caresses of love” and boys such because the one she met the evening earlier than Arnold Friend confirmed up at the door. Connie daydreamed about “how nice [the boy] had been”, and Connie continues thinking of how sweet being with this boy had been. She associated her experience to be like the flicks and the method in which it was “promised in songs” (339). Connie was a young lady residing her life according to the music, and she or he would not have daydreamed one thing as threatening and terrifying as Arnold Friend.

While critics might disagree to what Arnold represents; there is vital evidence that Arnold was created to look, but not essentially be, Bob Dylan. Arnold Friend’s physical description is that of Bob Dylan’s look within the Sixties. Oates makes reference to the radio DJ, Bobby King, which is in “reference to “Bobby” Dylan, the “king” of rock-and-roll” (McConnell, 1). McConnell also helps the idea that Arnold seems like Bob Dylan, along with his “shaggy, shabby black hair that looked loopy as a wig,” (Oates, 340) his “long and hawk-like nostril,” (Oates, 342) and his unshaven face.

Arnold also had “big and white” tooth, his lashes, “thick and black as if painted with a black tar-like material” (Oates, 344) and his size, “only an inch or so taller” (Oates, 341) than Connie are all attribute of Bob Dylan. Arnold “spoke in a quick, brilliant monotone” voice which “is additionally ‘suggestive of Dylan, especially since he speaks’ “in a easy lilting voice, precisely as if he had been reciting the words to a song”’ (Oates, 342) (McConnell, 1).

When Connie became suspicious of his age, earlier than she realized the danger she was in, small clues confirmed her feelings that he was indeed an older man. He used a combination of slang “as if he were operating by way of all the expressions he’d learned but was not positive which of them was in style”. Arnold used his lyrical voice and pieces of lyrics from songs to confuse, comfort and then scare Connie. Connie acknowledged many of the lyrics used. Michael Kapper accurately portrays the affect of music in Connie’s life. Kapper writes, Rock’n’roll music is a continuing presence in Connie’s life.

At the drive-in, the background music is “something to depend on” (Oates, 337), and on Sunday afternoon, with no drive-in and no boys around, the music itself provides Connie pleasure. This omnipresence is even noteworthy within the music’s absence (1). It is important to decipher the similarities between “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been? ” and Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”. While there are several other songs which are similar to the overall theme of Oates’ story, “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” has substantial similarities and assist from several critics.

The reoccurring lyric in “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” (Dylan) is “…it’s all over now”. Arnold Friend spends nearly all of the time at Connie’s home explaining to her that her life as she knows it is over; at the finish he says “it’s all over for you here, so come out” (349). Connie and her good friend were very trusting and unaware of the consequences of their actions. Connie and good friend risked crossing the freeway to be in a position to act like adults, and “…listen to the music that made everything so good” (337).

Dylan sings of the risks of dwelling on the edge in “It’s all Over Now, Baby Blue”, warning that “the highway is for gamblers, higher use your sense” (7). Connie gambles together with her life both by crossing a busy freeway and by trusting people she doesn’t know. Arnold tells Connie that her time in her home was over, telling Connie, “…they don’t know something about you and never did and honey you’re higher than them as a result of not a certainly one of them would have done this for you” (Oates, 350). Arnold also makes himself look as if he is a saint saving Connie from her household who does not understand her.

This can additionally be current in “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”, the place Dylan sings “look out the saints are comin’ through” (5). Dylan sings that “The carpet, too, is moving under you” (17), this should be what Connie felt when she realized Arnold was a “forty-year-old baby” (Oates, 344) and when she realized that she wouldn’t see her mom or sleep in her bed once more. In the final few verses of Dylan’s track it states; “leave your stepping stones behind, something requires you. Forget the useless you’ve left, they won’t comply with you” (19. 20).

Oates’ story echoes Dylan’s song. Connie is leaving her residence where she has realized and grown similar to stepping stones and she goes to by no means see her family again; whether she dies or should stick with Arnold Friend towards her will is personal interpretation. Arnold Friend nonetheless made it clear that she wouldn’t return. It is evident from the wealth of literary analyses that Joyce Carol Oates’ story “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been? ” will continue to have mixed interpretations of its characters, affect and general theme.

It is undeniable nonetheless, from Oates’ dedication of the story to Bob Dylan and the overwhelming similarities of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” to Oates’ story that both the story and Oates was closely influenced by Bob Dylan seen in both the antagonist’s traits, the selection of words and the general significance of music to the characters and theme of the story. References “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”. Lyrics. Sony NY BMG Music Entertainment. (2007). 31 August 2007 Jordan, Tonia. “Who Is Arnold Friend? ” Ezinearticles. com. (2006). 1 September 2007

com/? Who-Is-Arnold-Friend? &id=313523> Kapper, Michael, C. “A Virgin within the Backseat Smoking Hash: Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been? ” The Joyce Carol Oates Papers. (1996). 1 September 2007 Latta, Alan, D. “Spinell and Connie: Joyce Carol Oates Re-Imagining Thomas Mann? ” Connotations 9. three (1999/2000): 316-29. 31 August 2007. < http://www. uni-tuebingen. de/uni/nec/latta93. htm> McConnell, Leigh. “Connie’s Tambourine Man”. Blog. (2007). 31 August 2007. http://conniestambourineman. blogspot. com/2007/07/connies-tambourine-man. html

“Oates, Joyce Carol: INTRODUCTION. ” Short Story Criticism. Ed. Joseph Palmisano Project Editor. Vol. 70. Gale Group, Inc. , 2004. eNotes. com. 2006. 30 Aug, 2007 oates-joyce-carol> Schwartz, Aaron. The Story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? ” by Joyce Carol Oates. Ezinearticles. com. (2007). 30 August 2007 http://ezinearticles. com/? The-Story-Where-Are-You-Going,-Where-Have-You-Been? -by-Joyce-Carol-Oates&id=324443 Showalter, Elaine. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? “. Rutgers UP: New Jersey. (1994). 30 August 2007 http://jco. usfca. edu/where. html

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"A Literature Analysis" StudyScroll, Sep 20, 2021. https://studyscroll.com/a-literature-analysis-essay

"A Literature Analysis" StudyScroll, 20-Sep-2021. [Online]. Available: https://studyscroll.com/a-literature-analysis-essay. [Accessed: 27-Sep-2022]

StudyScroll. (2021). A Literature Analysis. [Online]. Available at: https://studyscroll.com/a-literature-analysis-essay [Accessed: 27-Sep-2022]

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