In Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are you Going, Where Have You Been" there is a clear interpretation of evil in Arnold Friend's portrayal of a demon who tries to lure Connie into his world of sex and emotion. Joyce Carol Oates seems to create scenarios of real life and center them into her story. The harsh reality she includes in this story is that there actually are demons like Arnold Friend in the world. By incorporating more life like realities in the story, Oates creates the evil of Arnold in an almost believable setting and proves that the world is full of both innocence and evil. .
There are many clues in the story that hint towards Arnold Friend not being a friend, but in fact a demon that has come to take Connie away. When Arnold Friend first approaches Connie, he begins to talk as if she was expecting him. He says, "I ain't late am I?" (Oates 618). Connie has an uneasy feeling about him and feels violated by his presence. Arnold seems to be pressuring Connie from the start and is obviously not there just to take her for a ride. The "ride" that Arnold talks of could possibly even have a sexual connotation that Connie does not pick up on because she is so young and blind to the world of sin that Arnold lives in. Oates chooses her words carefully to show that Arnold is a devious yet recognizable snake. For example, the narratorsays: "And his face was a familiar face, somehow sniffing as if she were a treat he was going to gobble up" (Oates 619).
The omniscient capabilities Arnold shows are simply more clues that Arnold Friend is playing the role of a demon, or the devil himself. He knows too much about everything and everyone to be only a normal person, especially one who is not from around Connie's town. Arnold claims to know all of Connie's friends and where her family is at the time of their meeting. This scares her into asking Arnold how he knows so much and his only response is, "I know everybody"(Oates 620).