Joyce Carol Oates uses characterization to show how Connie acts throughout the story. Connie at the beginning is the girl who doesn??™t care about anything but tries to look good for the boys and wants to fit in.
Connie at the end becomes this frightened little girl, who doesn??™t know what to do in that situation. Connie was torn between two different lifestyles. The first was her home life that consists of a materialistic mother, a plain jane sister, and an unemotional father. Her second lifestyle was with her friends in a rebellious life. Was her downfall the fault of her arrogance or her unsupportive familyAt the beginning Connie is nonchalant. She is a typical teenager. She hides her feelings from her family. At the end of the story the real comes out.
She shows who she really is when she is put in a bad situation. At the beginning of the story Connie is not a family person at all. She doesn??™t really care to be around her mother. She doesn??™t like her sister because her mother sees highly about her sister, but does not see highly about her. Connie is very beautiful, and she knew she was beautiful. She is also very flirtatious. What draws Connie away from her family the most is her mother.
Every time her mother talks about her sister, June, then her voice approving and reassuring, but when her mother talks about Connie then her mother??™s voice get disapproving. Connie does what a typical teenager does. She likes to go out with friends and doesn??™t like to be at home. Connie is at the point that she wants her mother to die and for everything to go away. Connie wanted to do her best to look good for the boys. Connie didn??™t have to any good things going for her, but being beautiful so she had to use that to her advantage. She was so worried about impressing boys that the messed around and impressed to wrong one.
Connie is materialistic. She knows that she has nothing going for her, but she tries to hide it from every one. You can tell that she doesn??™t have high self-esteem. Not having high self-esteem can make you very vulnerable, which Connie was. People can see that she is vulnerable, so people are going to use that to their advantage, which Arnold did. Connie??™s mother felt like she was arrogant also. Connie??™s mother would always go around telling Connie stop being so arrogant, that she wasn??™t better than anyone.
You can also tell that Connie wants to be older than she is. She is only 15 years old. She lied to her mother and told her she was going to see a movie with a friend when really she went to a drive-in restaurant, where all the other older kids hung out.Towards the end of the story, the true Connie is revealed.
At the beginning she was all about boys and becoming a woman. Once she comes in contact with a complete stranger, she shows that she is incapable of handling herself. She tries to be calm at first and tell Arnold and Ellie to leave, but once Arnold realizes she is trying to get them to go away then he gets more aggressive. Connie thought Arnold was flirting with her, but when she realizes that hi is threatening her, then she gets scared. She is trying to make herself believe that her family is going to come rescue her, but she knows that they are not.
She tries to tell Arnold that her dad is coming to get her, but strangely Arnold knows that he is not. She is depending on her family that once before she didn??™t like and couldn??™t stand to come save her. Connie is very scared. Arnold asks her not to put her family in this. He threatens her family. She doesn??™t want her family to get her so, ???her attempt has succeeded is shown when she sacrifices herself by going out, at the end of the story to meet her fate, thereby sparing her family a violent and deadly encounter (Slimp 181).
Everything around her becomes strange. She notices things she hadn??™t once notices. She gives up. There is nothing more she can do.
Her self confidence led to a false sense of security. It was funny how she sacrificed her life in order to save her family. Connie gives off a message that on one is important to her, so that gives a gateway for other people, like Arnold to come into her life. Arnold was the wrong person to come into her life though.
Connie had a history of bad judgment, which also gave Arnold a pathway to come into her life. She would go off to places without her parent??™s knowledge. ???Sometimes they went across the highway, ducking fast across the busy road, to a drive-in restaurant where older kids hung out. (Oates 559) The author describes ???the father of Connie??™s best girl friend drove the girls the three miles to town and left them at a shopping plaza so they could walk through the stores or go to a movie, and when he came to pick them up again at eleven her never bothered to ask what they had done.??? (Oates 558) Connie would alter her appearance that looked on way when she was at home and another when she was with her friends. The author explains ???she wore a pull over jersey blouse that looked one way when she was at home and another way when she away from home.
??? (Oates 558) Connie couldn??™t help but talk to Arnold when he pulled up in her driveway. He looked very familiar to her and she thought he was very charming. She liked the way he dressed. Arnold was wearing tight scuffed jeans, scuffed up boots and a tight white shirt to show how muscular he was.
??? I took a special interest in you, such a pretty girl, and found out all about you-like I know your parents and sister are gone somewhere and I know where and how long they will be gone, and I who you were with last night, and your best friend??™s name is betty right??? (Oates 564)