Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brittany's Journal Three

For class, I read a story by Joyce Carol Oates called, "Where are you going, where have you been?" Overall I thought it was a really good story but it really gave me a creepy feeling while I was reading it. The character that stood out the most to me was Arnold Friend. He was described as having shaggy, shabby black hair that looked like a crazy wig, wore sunglasses, dressed in tight faded blue jeans that he had tucked into his black, scuffed boots, a belt and a soiled white t-shirt. His description in general is just creepy and his personality was even stranger. He knew everything about Connie and said that she was going to be his lover. Throughout the whole story I had this strange feeling that his character was only in her imagination.

The story had a lot of really good descriptive sentences in it. Joyce Carol Oates is very good at characterization of people as well as place. My favorite passage is when Arnold was successfully persuading Connie out of the house. He says, "The place where you came from ain't there anymore, and where you had in mind to go is cancelled out. This place you are now-inside your daddy's house-is nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down any time. You know that and always did know that. You hear me?" I feel that this statement is where the title of the story came from. It gives off this other-worldly vibe and makes my skin prickle a little bit. It also makes me feel like my original thought of him being imaginary may be true, because he says that shes not going back to where she came from and that could mean physically or emotionally.


  1. I love your description of Arnold Friend and I agree that even his physical description in the story was creepy.

  2. I also kinda wondered if she was imagining all of this because it seemed so strange, but then again there have been times even in real life when I wondered if I was dreaming because it was so ridiculous.