Friday, October 3, 2014

Where Are You Going

Connie's shallow, superficial and vain personality seems to conjure up this devil who manifests as Arnold Friend.  He plays on her vanity to try to seduce her in to coming with him willingly by telling her she's cute. He is dressed in a way that appeals to her, "Connie liked the way he was dressed, which was the way al of them dressed:..." (Oates 3127).  He speaks in, "a simple lilting voice,..." (Oates 3128). And his smile makes her feel as though everything is fine.  He has drawn her in through all the shallow, simple, immature ways that she values.  As the interaction between Connie and Friend progresses, she begins to see he is not what he appears to be. His manipulation turns into forcefulness and psychological terror.  At the point where Connie asks how old he is, she is beginning to realize that all is not right.  She is no longer in an innocent game of flirtation but now in an adult world of violence and sex.  She is powerless and no longer in control.  She is the victim of this man.  Friend says to her, "Be nice to me , be sweet like you can because what else is there for a girl like you but to be sweet and pretty and give in?-..." (Oates 3134).  Connie has lost everything, her innocence her life at the hands of this " devil" in disguise.  Is this a cautionary tale for women who think that their only power lies in how their looks are perceived by males?

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