Language in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Connie replies by saying, "Who the hell do you think you are?” a typical response of someone in that situation. If a complete stranger showed up at my house and talked to me as though we were best friends I would respond the same way.
All through the story Oates continues to use bad language to illustrate the story and show how much Arnold Friend knows about Connie. The more Arnold talks, the more he reveals about his knowledge of Connie and the things and people around her. Soon, Arnold starts naming off all of Connie’s friends, assuring her, "I know everybody." Arnold also knows things about her that he would know only if he was with her all the time,
"I... found out all about you like I know your parents and sister are gone somewheres and I know where and how long they’re going to be gone, and I know who you were with last night..."
Connie’s fear of the situation sends waves of dizziness through her body, makes her hands shake, and causes "Her heart to beat out of her chest and its pumping made sweat break out all over her." The extreme knowledge and intense tone of the dialogue make Connie scared and nervous, which is also projected in the language she uses. When Arnold says, "We ain’t leaving until you come with us" Connie replies with a firm answer, "Like hell I am." She curses again, to make her point clear when she says, "Get the hell out of here."
"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" uses language to slowly increase suspense. Religion is a part of the story, but it doesn’t bring Connie salvation or protection. I believe that Arnold Friend represents an evil force sent by the devil and religion doesn’t keep Connie safe because it appears that she doesn’t believe in it. Toward the end of the story she may have tried to affirm God, as a last ditch effort to save herself, but all in all, I think that the language she used was to make the story realistic, and is typical of a...