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Refutation Marie Mitchell Olesen Urbanski reflects on the parallels between a literary work and biblical suggestions in her essay Existential Allegory Joyce Carol Oates Where Are You Going Where Have You Been Studies in Short Fiction 1978 In her criticism she compares the story of Connies passive submission to Arnold Friend with the seduction of Eve by the Devil in the biblical myth She uses Oates descriptions of Arnold friend to prove that he is the devil and that Connie is an innocent victim Urbanski does a convincing job of comparing the story of Connie and Arnold to the story of Eve and the Devil She emphasizes religious metaphors that Oates used in her story such as the local hang out representing a sacred building with music played religiously as at a church service Urbanski slips however by stating It is apparent that Friend represents the devil who tempts the chaste yet morally vacuous girl-victim It may be argued that Arnold Friend resembles the devil in some ways but Urbanski fails to give sufficient evidence for this claim and more importantly fails to acknowledge the many other possibilities for Arnold Friends identity Urbanski easily compares Friend to other literary figures She encounters a problem however when she labels Arnold as Satan simply because it resembles another description of Satan in John Miltons works Her argument becomes faulty because of a fallacy of composition She says that Miltons Satan who sits straight with dark eyes and a dark gold neck is the same as Arnold Friend because he has slitted eyes with dark lashes a muscular neck and sits atop a golden jalopy Simply the use of dark eyes and the color gold does not imply that one is the devil What may be true for Miltons Satan does not necessarily apply to all other works The example of Arnold Friends feet not fitting correctly into his boots and associating that with the cloven
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