“Where Are You Going; Where Have You Been?” By Joy

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Presences It is often said by most western religions that the devil walks among mortals each day and the act of resisting or standing up to evil is considered a righteous act. The influence of an evil presence in the life of an otherwise “good” main character has been the topic of popular literature for hundreds of years. The stories “Where Are You Going; Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates and “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne share a similar theme of evil presences in the lives of the main characters even though they were written more than a century apart. The prevalent theme in both stories is that there is evil present. In the story “Where Are You Going; Where Have You Been?”, Connie, the main character, is a teenager who lives with a family that she feels misunderstands her. She escapes this misunderstanding by spending time with her friends. She feels like there are two sides of herself and that no one sees the whole person. They just see parts of the person and are not willing to open their eyes to see the whole person in her. Evil is presented to Connie when a young man that she ignored one night while she was out with her friends. The man, Arnold Friend, shows up at her house on Sunday morning and threatens to hurt her family if she calls the police. He insists that her family doesn’t understand her and never has and that she will love him. Connie eventually decides to go with Arnold. In the story “Young Goodman Brown” the main character is a young newlywed puritan man who goes into the woods one night to meet an elderly gentleman who walks with him further into the dark woods. Goodman Brown comes to the conclusion that this man must be a devil of some sort if not the devil himself but is unavoidably pulled toward the center of the forest. There he finds a group of people made up mostly of people from his town. People that he

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