Character Analysis of Connie Essay Example

  • Category: Literature,
  • Words: 1406 Pages: 6
  • Published: 27 March 2021
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Each piece of work can be read differently from reader to reader. I have found multiple different interpretations on the short story called “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, originally written by Joyce Oates. It is crucial for readers to pay attention to detail in every short story, along with this specific one to fully understand what the author is trying to imply in their work. In this short story, the main character is a young girl named Connie. Connie is a fifteen year old girl who has two sides to her. At home she was a different person around her family, whereas out with friends she had a different personality then. Connie’s situation at home speaking on relationship wise, was not very good. A child should be given all the help that their guardians can give. Connie has a slight obsession with her looks like most teenagers, however looking your best should not define a woman’s intentions. The man who came along in Connie’s life was introduced earlier, and there is proof to show he was putting her in danger. Even though Connie may seem like she doesn’t care about her family since they are not close, readers miss the point that Connie is actually insecure in many different ways. Connie’s relationships in her life with family is the reason why Connie was in danger from the start, they were not helpful in any way. 

She was always bold. Connie wasn’t afraid to state her opinion whether at home or elsewhere. Connie wanted to be independent and grow up quickly. She was confident with her words and even while out with friends she would feel free like she was something bigger. “Lots of young girls try to become independent earlier than it is possible”, a quote written from another person’s perspective could argue in agreement that Connie was in fact wanting to grow up too soon. (3). Theoretically we can both see that Connie was in fact a bit immature for the way she acted, however many children have the same mentality during these times because they see others doing so much and it possibly makes them become eager. In this specific analysis on this shorty story, the author argues that Connie was not getting the emotional or rather any support from the family which is needed in her life at her age of fifteen. I agree that Connie was not getting the support and care at home because the mother along with the mother’s friends would praise Connie’s sister for things but not for her. Connie felt like her true self while out with friends, because she wanted to be free. Connie’s mother would praise her sister for things all the time, however would get on Connie for things like simply looking at herself in the mirror too much. The relationship between Connie and her family played a huge role in her life, it was something she could not see. From the outside looking in it is clear to see that since their relationship was not great, it plays a role in what lead Connie into the end situation. 

Just like every other reading, everybody takes their own opinions into consideration. “Connie is right that it is everything, but sees only the positive effects of her prettiness, not the dangers of attracting the wrong attention.” , a quote written by another writer giving analysis. (3). This writer is trying to imply in this quote that Connie is unaware that she could be attracting people upon her that could result in conflict. I can agree that in today’s world things are much different than past times. However coming from a female myself, it is not typically our fault that sometimes as women we attract the wrong attention. Connie looked up to herself, she was a young girl who didn’t really have acceptance at home. She felt most of her acceptance while being out with friends. This is when she felt most confident, like she owned the world. Connie had guys ask her to come hang with them, and she would turn them down which made her feel good inside being able to say no to hanging with people. She wanted to look pretty at all times, she wanted to be her own self. Why does it have to be quoted as she is unaware she could be attracting the wrong attention? In the short story Connie is around all women, her father is barely home, while all the men discussed in this short story are being described as dangerous people. It is arguable that Connie was possibly too showy with herself, however a girl as young as her shouldn’t be described as being unaware of attracting danger just due to the way she looks or dresses. The issue with this is that it can be interpreted that girls are the cause of their own problems, when that is not always the case. 

To look further more into this short story, it was possible to be able to tell once Connie’s “friend” came along that it was dangerous for her. In this analysis, the writer is explaining the shadow of a satyr. The writer is arguing that there are hints that this man who came to Connie’s house was a satyr, just by consuming the words. They wrote “The ambiguous power this stranger has over Connie, the depth of his deceptiveness, and the danger the ensuing adventure holds for her become more understandable when Friend is viewed as the manifestation of a satyr in modern dress, the story’s expanding itself in the adumbration of a myth with universal implications.” (2). This quote is explaining how they believe that Arnold is a satyr in this story, which is arguable and agreeable considering all of the men in this specific short story are more of examples rather than influential. Connie would have had a solution to this satyr if she had a connection at home with her mother. But it seems to be that the sister was more connected with the family rather than Connie who was still a child. Once the man came to Connie’s house, he said things that were questionable. If Connie had a better relationship with not only her mother but also her whole family, she would have never been left alone at home that day. With the words that the stranger said, it is clear to see that Oates was trying to show that the man was no friend, and that he wanted to take advantage of her. Connie’s father was known for not being home often. If Connie and her father had a stronger relationship with one another, she would have avoided the situation with being home so this incident could have been avoided. 

The mother was always getting on Connie about how often she looked at herself. Connie was confident, however she was also insecure. She hid her feelings at home and did not communicate once with her family members. With friends, she felt accepted which caused her overall confidence to boost. Without guidance a child can be in danger in any kind of situation, “Due to her insecurity and low self-esteem, Connie is just gullible enough to believe that it really is all over for her.” (9).  I agree with this unique quote because Connie sold herself out to save her family, along with the fact that she felt as if that was the end for her. Even though her family relationships were not ideal, she still wanted to keep them safe. Connie cared about a lot of things, we can see that from the beginning of the short story considering it starts off with explaining how her mother was always getting on her for looking at herself or fixing her hair. Connie was willing to give up everything once he threatened her to hurt her family. She didn’t want her family to get hurt by any means. Connie was afraid of this man along with the things he was saying. It is true that she was afraid of love and intimacy. She didn’t feel it at home, so how could she really know what to do in a situation like this? 

For somebody who is fifteen years old, they shouldn’t have to feel like they have to be a different person at home. Parents should be comforting of their children, despite who they want to be or who they are. Connie was different around friends because her friends accepted her for who she was. She could walk with her friends on the street and feel at home because they wouldn’t stop her tracks and tell her to stop being herself. The sister who was much older, was still living at home. Connie’s sister was already fine to be on her own, however she wasn’t. Connie’s mother constantly yelling at her or telling her to stop doing something that was just a habit for her, really shows that it affected her mentally. She will grow up not knowing what it feels like to have a family that cares.

 

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