Ellie Oscar

Is there any symbolism in Ellie Oscar's name in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

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In her 1990 journal article published in Studies in Short Fiction entitled "The Shadow of a Satyr in Oates's 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" literary critic Joan Easterly posits that the name "Ellie Oscar is a parody of the name of the Greek god of mercy, Elios." This is a highly defensible theory of the name's symbolism because Ellie Oscar functions not as a person who will intervene and stop Arnold Friend in his unrelenting pursuit of Connie, but as Arnold Friend's henchman.

Ellie Oscar is present in body only as he keeps a transistor radio to his ear and doesn't interfere as Arnold toys with Connie. Connie notices too late that like Arnold, Ellie looks quite old. If readers accept the interpretation of the story that Arnold is a Satanic figure, he is quite ancient. His companion, Ellie, is ironic, suggesting that the lesser god of mercy is impotent when compared to...

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