What Makes The Antagonist So Antagonizing? English Essay

1776 words - 8 pages

Shinnick 6
Joseph Shinnick
Professor Giana Milazzo
English 106
3 October 2017
What Makes the Antagonist So Antagonizing
The concept of evil men is something that is not unknown to literature. From J.R.R. Tolkein’s Sauron, to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Moriarity, villains have been able to frighten and delight readers for many years. But how does one make an antagonist so antagonizing? Both Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” and “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath explore this concept. Both works deal with evil men who take advantage of those around them, and the effects they have on the other characters. However, the effectiveness of the villains in these works is made that much more effective by a few details about them. In Oates’ story, the age difference and small foreshadowing provide a more sinister backdrop for Arnold Friend, while Plath’s poem uses the fact that the narrator is speaking about her father along with the effects on her life that he has had to make him seem so much more threatening. Finally, the main characters are both in positions of vulnerability, which only adds onto the situation.
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” deals with the main character, Connie, and her interaction with a man named Arnold Friend, who successfully takes her from her home. This is after, however, revealing himself to know much about her life. He is able to successfully rattle off a list of her friend’s names, and tell her that her family is away at a family barbeque. By doing this, he shows himself as more than a kidnapper, He is an obsessive stalker, telling her how he loves her and they are meant to be together. He tries to reason with her, telling her he will not enter the house, but if she grabs the phone, then their “deal” is off.
There is no doubt that he is the antagonist of the story. However, there are a few things about him that make him especially effective as a villain. The most important is the age difference. While still disturbing, it would be significantly less so if Arnold Friend and Connie were more similar in age. Connie realizes Friend’s age, as Oates writes “She could see then that he wasn't a kid, he was much older—thirty, maybe more. At this knowledge her heart began to pound faster” (Oates 595). Once Arnold Friend’s age is realized by the reader, his infatuation with Connie takes a more sinister meaning. He no longer becomes potentially a teen with his first crush, and is now an adult who is in love with a child much younger than him. Just the very concept of an adult being so taken away by a much younger girl is enough to set most people on edge.
Additionally, this is not the first time he has done this. He has studied language that people her age use, saying “Don't crawl under my fence, don't squeeze in my chipmonk hole, don't sniff my glue, suck my popsicle, keep your own greasy fingers on yourself!" (599). Friend has put in all this effort to enamor her, which makes him that much creepier....

Find Another Essay On What Makes the Antagonist So Antagonizing? - English - Essay

What Makes Historical Films so Special?

1326 words - 5 pages . Through thick and thin, Ying Zheng showed his will and determination to attain unity (similar to how the history books portrayed the emperor), but the major difference between this film and history is that the film did a better job of exposing the true nature of Ying Zheng. What this means is that the film (like that of Asoka) did an outstanding job in showing that the first emperor of China was more compassionate and loving than the way people

What Makes A Good Essay

674 words - 3 pages What makes an essay good? There are many elements that go into a well written comprehensible paper. A quality essay contains elements such as description and detail, thesis statement, exemplification, irony, and knowledge of your audience. A good essay is one that grabs the imagination of the reader. Anyone can write a quality essay following simple guidelines and steps.I think that description and detail are one of the most important elements

What makes an author greater than another? - English 103 Intro to Fiction - Essay

418 words - 2 pages fan and continued to talk about the games and players until he died. The narrator was very descriptive in the story. He described the sky as “a robin’s egg blue”, “the wind as soft as a day-old chick”. As I continued reading I was so engulfed in learning more about Shoeless Joe. I wanted to know more about whom he was what he looked like and why was he called Shoeless Joe. But before I would get the answers to my questions, the narrator describes

Expository Essay- what makes a good restaurant?

741 words - 3 pages We have all visited restaurants before, hungry with anticipation of consuming a good meal in return for our precious and cautiously spent money. Eating out is an expensive business and you really want to be sure you get a good experience. Sadly, this doesn't always happen. Who or what is to blame for this?Successful restaurants offer a seamless dining experience. The appeal of the meal to some, is the best part, but there are so many things that

This is a Discriptive Essay needed for English 101. The title is "Going Home". We needed to describe in our essay so people could "see" what we were talking about

687 words - 3 pages Going HomeLoriEnglish 101Descriptive Essay09/11/03I sit on the bed looking at the milk white and blue marbled glass blown vase. The fragile glass flowers that are sitting about the rocks bring back the memories of a wonderful trip to Mexico we took with my grandparents when I was eight years old. How can it be so long ago since we have been home and seem like just yesterday? Memories flood my mind of times spent in the house set near the row of

What Makes Those X-Men So Darn Great? A personally opinionated paper

2435 words - 10 pages ravioli out there. Clothing, shoes, video games, toys, dolls, Pezdispensers, shoestrings, you name it, the X-Men are likely to have it.So why do I like the X-Men so much? It is a combination of a lot of things. Greatstories, characters you can get attached to, beautiful art, a different perspective(everybody loves Superman, but nobody loves mutants), and social relevance. What elsecould make a better escapist's world? Not only all that, but they are

Competition - What Makes the World Go Round

369 words - 2 pages (an in-class essay) Prompt: People compete against each other in many areas of life. Are the effects of competition more negative than positive? Explain your position. Be sure to use specific reasons and examples from your own experiences or observations.Competition is what life as we know it is based on. It's whate keeps bacteria alive; it's what keeps humans alive. The wold never would have gotten anywhere if it weren't for competition. It is

What makes the film a good one?

802 words - 3 pages . However, an argument has remained among film companies, directors and spectators. "What makes the film a good one?" Nowadays, lots of high-class films was made and watched but nobody can exactly agree in this question. So I try to answer this question by examining a film, which is named Gattacca and its factors that formed film afflux such as music, casting, and scenario...First of all, i want to start with the summary of the film. Gathacca is about a

What Makes a Student the Perfect Student?

780 words - 4 pages is one in which nothing is impossible to achieve. They put more than a hundred percent, are perfectionists and strive to be the best. What distinguishes a “perfect student” from a typical student? The Perfect Student has an organized schedule. They plan before hand and never do things last minute. Their minds operate as mini computers constantly thinking of new ideas. In math, they punch out numbers from their brains and in English class they

The Journey Home: What Makes a Hero

2522 words - 10 pages The Journey Home: What Makes a Hero What constitutes an epic story? Certainly, literary expectations have come to define a story as a series of events revolving around one or more characters. An epic, however, must possess one attribute that a story may or may not contain; a hero. The Odyssey is an epic and therefore, it does contain a hero and perhaps even more than one. A hero cannot simply just exist, though, he or she must be shaped

Alexander the Great: What Makes One Great?

1367 words - 5 pages Alexander the Great: What Makes one Great?Christian QuinteroAX9-2December 5th 2013Thesis: Alexander was great because he demonstrated leadership, an ability to conquer, and the ability to spread Greek culture everywhere he went.IntroductionHook about GreatnessExplanation of BCE time and areaThesisEarly KingFamily HistoryAristotleUnified GreeceEarly ConquestsBattle of TyreOverview of BattleEmphasis on intellectEmphasis on

Similar Essays

What Makes People So Strong Essay

1089 words - 4 pages What makes people so strong? We often face up small or large obstacle through our life. It is very difficult to overcome the obstacle. Whoever overcomes small or large obstacle through their life can have strong personality and mentality. Bell Hooks, Gorge Orwell, and Gloria Steinem are good examples of people who have overcome obstacles and achieve their goals in life. They have challenged their fate and became strong. I would like to explain

What Makes Zombies So Popluar? Essay

1543 words - 7 pages There is no denying that zombies are popular they are popping up everywhere from movies to video games and more. But why, what lies behind this braindead form of entertainment. Many of us just carry about our lives and never truly ask ourselves what makes zombies popular, what do they stand for, what are they all about. Zombies are a metaphor, they are humans who have lost what gives us dominance over the animal world, our powerful brain

Southwest Airlines What Makes Them So Successful? Discusses The Advertising And Management Techniques That Makes Southwest Airlines So Profitable

667 words - 3 pages When discussing airlines, one small but powerful name stands out; Southwest Airlines. This airline positions itself as different for a number of reasons. The most logical is that they are the only short haul, low-fare, high-frequency, point to point carrier in America. The airline flies to fifty eight cities in thirty states and they offer numerous flights to the same cities each day. This makes them very convenient for travelers. Southwest

What Makes Historical Films So Special?

1564 words - 7 pages apparent death of his wife he is so devastated that the emperor nearly kills himself only to get hindered by Virat. This triggers the prince to stand there and take several punches that harshly injures the prince who doesn’t do anything to stop Virat because his heart is so heartbroken that Asoka doesn’t care about living anymore. What this exhibits is that the death of someone Asoka cares deeply about (Kaurwaki) affected the prince so dramatically