Euphemism Behind Connie’s Actions as Presented by Oates
Connie yearns for attention, a factor that appears throughout the text. She talks condescendingly about her sister’s looks and claims her mother used to be beautiful. However, despite talking about them in this light, she does not seem bothered by her relationship with her father. In this instance, the character shows sadness as he does not bother to talk to them at home and also fails to ask anything when he drops them off at the mall (Oates 3). She is eager to be noticed and does anything in her power to do so. Connie and her friends talk to older boys from their high school at the restaurant, feeling important as they can reject some boys. This portrays a yearning for love, illustrating the character’s reason for entering the vehicle with Arnold; she wants attention.
Furthermore, Friend pesters Connie to get into the car with him and go for a ride. In this way, Arnold will take her away from her home. She despises her mother and wishes she was dead (Oates 2). This deep feeling is satiated by Friend’s offer to ride with him. She does not see herself as a child. Connie yearns to leave her childhood behind, a factor that Oates indicates in her story. Riding with Friend is an indication that Connie is about to transition from her home and family life. Her innocence ends after the ride, illustrating a change in the character’s life. She has low self-esteem and does not see her value due to the neglect she endures with her father. The friend appears to care for her, a feeling she does not associate with home. Her mother constantly chides her for being more like June, her sister, an issue she despises. Going with Arnold is a form of rebellion against her mother and sets standards within their household.
Oates, Joyce. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. 1966.