Gothic Influence Essay

Submitted By 10ezrahc
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Gothic Influence Gothic impact in literature have always been involved with the occurrences of evil. In Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” gothic influences unveils itself in Arnold Friend, a character consumed by dreadful thoughts and desires. Arnold pursues a young female by smooth talking to her and leaving her frightening hints that there is no other option than to surrender to him, resulting in her death. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” by Flannery O’Connor, the character the Misfit has great gothic impact. He is an escaped criminal who comes across a family that has just wrecked their car. Because he needs items they have in their vehicle and one of the family members recognizes him, he kills them. Both of these stories illustrate gothic influences that explain Arnold and the Misfit mind set, and reasoning for their harsh acts. Arnold Friend is a corrupted man who takes delight in wickedness because he targets young teen girls. Once he has a victim he wants, he begins stalking her like prey. For Arnold the chase is fulfilling. He finds out all he wants to know about his victim and uses this information to later torment them in a way that lets his intentions be made known (Oates 344). He plays the part of a friendly, jolly young man, who often slips, allowing glimpses of his real self to break loose. In these moments his manifestation shows what he is really thinking and what he really feels. This happens as he is angered when he believes matters are not progressing in a way they should (Oates 347).
In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the Misfit is with out a doubt a vicious killer, but he is also a character who has questioned the meaning of life and his role in it. The Misfit is a man customary to violence. He knows that he has committed crimes because he has been punished for them, but he does not remember what they were (O’Connor 385). He does not understand his punishment which is why he tries to trying to gain some insight into why he is being punished from the old lady. The Misfit has no real sense of what is right and wrong. This suggests that he never has any real intention of hurting anyone, he just does what he believes is necessary for self-preservation. Arnold Friend and the Misfit are individuals who seem to have many similarities, but are actually very different characters in these two Gothic stories. Arnold Friend disguises his appearance to become more pleasing to his victims. The Misfit, however, has no need to charm or attract his nameless victims. Being appealing would indicate that he found…