Devil Reincarnation of Arnold Friend
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The story “Where are you going? And where have you been?” revolves around a young girl called Connie and Arnold Friend. Connie is a fifteen years old lady. She is preoccupied with her looks most of the time to an extent her mother is not comfortable and keeps scolding her. Her mother wants her to immolate her older sister June in her cleanliness and responsibility. \June works as a secretary and saves the money she gets to assist her family. Connie likes hanging out with boys. One day as she sneaks out, a boy named Eddie invites her for dinner. As they walk down the lane, Connie sees a man in gold convertibles who smiles at her and tells her that he is going to have her. Connie’s develops a habit of avoiding her mother’s prying questions, and dreaming about the boys she meets. One Sunday afternoon as the family goes out; Connie decides to stay back at home. The man dressed in Gold convertibles whom she met while she had gone out with Eddie visits her. The man late introduces himself as Arnold friend. Arnold was in the company of one of his friends whom he introduced as Ellie.
Connie was so puzzled when Arnold mentioned her name and she wanted to know how he had known her name. Arnold went ahead and told her that he knows a lot about her and even tells her where her family is at that moment. Arnold gets persistent in having Connie, as he wants her to go out with him. He goes ahead and threatens her by telling her that if she does not follow him he could do anything bad to her family, as he knows where they are and what they are doing. Full of fear, Connie asks him what he wants and he answers that he wants her. He even goes ahead and tells Connie that he knows Connie will fall in love with him. He tells her that he knew she is the girl for him when he first saw her. Connie tells him that she will call the police but the statement does not move him.
Arnold insists on Connie to go out with him. Connie runs for the door and takes the telephone but she is so frightened and instead she is sweating and screaming for her mother. She is unable to dial the phone. Arnold gets hold of her and stabs her. Arnold tells her to put the telephone back to its tight place and follow him. What comes to her mind is the thought of not seeing her family members again.
From the story, we can tell the character of Arnold. Arnold is a dangerous figure with pale skin and hair that resembles a wig. he has a long and hawk like nose, and his eyes look like chips of broken glass. He appears to be both young and old. His character is unpredictable. He seems to be demonic as he is able to predict facts as they are and he seems to be more of a nightmare rather than a normal being. He was hiding his true identity from Connie. His whole face was a mask that had tanned down his throat. He had plastered make-up on his face to shield his true identity. His boots too seemed to have been stuffed with something that makes him appear taller. The fact that Friend is a dwarf and he seems taller means that he is trying to hide something. Besides his physical characteristics, other devilish characteristics are seen when Arnold tries to harass and manipulate Connie. He seemed like someone who had some evil spell that confuses someone. He has supernatural powers that he uses to manipulate Connie. He tells Connie. “Stand up honey, get up all by yourself.” Connie stood up and all that was surrounding her was no longer familiar to her any more. The kitchen looked like a place she had never seen before and her eyes kept traversing all over the room as she could not remember anything in the room.
The author also uses irony and symbolism in her narration to portray the devilish character of Arnold. Sunday is a holy day and friend feels that he is all superior and powerful. The word friend is ironically used to mean the reverse that Arnold is not good. The author says that after his hand fell into the air the X was still in the air. The X is symbolic of evil. Arnold also seems not to have the ability of entering into the house of Connie’s parents like vampires as they cannot enter someone else house without permission. Most vampires believe that getting into one’s house without permission may deprive them their supernatural powers and weaken them. The numbers written on his car were also symbolic. The numbers (33,19,17) when added as a single digit 3+3+1+9+1+7 add up to 24 and X is the 24th letter of the alphabet. He marked these numbers into the air and told Connie that it is his sign. The number 33 can also symbolize the book Judges which is the 33rd book of the bible. Judges chapter 19 verse 17 says “And when he had lifted up his eyes. He saw a wayfaring man…” We can also tell that Arnold had supernatural powers as he was able to tell where Connie was staying without Connie having shown him her home. Arnold met Connie once and from there he told her that she would be his. He did not follow Connie to know her home but on that Sunday he was able to know where she was staying. It is the supernatural powers that led him to her home.
In summary the character of Arnold being Devil reincarnated does not have full evidence to support the allegations. Though through the manipulations of Connie and predictions Arnold made to Connie one can depict that Arnold Friend had some devilish nature in him. His actions did not take place naturally. No one can understand what was happening to Connie. It was obvious that there were some supernatural powers that were influencing her behavior and actions at the time she was with Arnold.
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