"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
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This paper examines the story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates and seeks to show that, taken allegorically, this story does not speak of temptation to sin but rather speaks of the call to transcend and to become initiated. It attempts to show that this fascinating story is not merely a realistic allegory of growing out of childhood, nor a tragic story of rape and murder, but also a sophisticated modern-day retelling of the coming of Dionysus and the calling of the Maenad. It looks at how Arnold Friend is a type of Dionysus and how his call to Connie parallels the call of the mad god to his Bacchae and to the initiates in his mysteries.
From the Paper:"Understanding Arnold Friend as an exemplar of Dionysus opens up far greater insight into the allegorical and mystical elements of this story. Dionysus was widely worshiped in the Greco-Roman world as a savior and an initiator into the mysteries of the self. (Freke & Gandy) He brought madness and death, certainly, but always this chaos was part of "the beauty and horror inextricably tied to the process of Becoming," (Mcginty, 165) and though he was a god of death he was also a god of resurrection who was commonly compared to Jesus by early Christian writers and their pagan contemporaries. (Freke & Gandy) With this in mind, several elements of the story may be re-evaluated. "
Cite this Book Review:
"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (2006, December 20) Retrieved November 22, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/where-are-you-going-where-have-you-been-75773/
""Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"" 20 December 2006. Web. 22 November. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/where-are-you-going-where-have-you-been-75773/>