Summary Of Joyce Carol Oates's Childish Connie

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Joyce Carol Oates writes about a self-absorbed girl named Connie and her life-threatening experience with Arnold Friend. Every evening during the summer, Connie uses the excuse of going to the shopping plaza with her friend to actually meet boys at a fast-food restaurant. During these risky evenings, Connie becomes very flirty while away from her family. At the restaurant one evening, Connie attracts the attention of a stranger named Arnold Friend without completely realizing it. Arnold shows up at her house the next day, which is Sunday, when her family is at a barbecue. He insists that they are meant to go on a drive, and that is why she stayed home to wash her hair that day. She realizes that he is much older than her by the words written …show more content…
Childish Connie is home alone, and is spending her time day-dreaming. Connie automatically starts to worry about how she looks when Arnold shows up at her house. Arnold’s presence startles Connie and her sexual personality starts to show through. She briefly remembers seeing Arnold at the fast-food restaurant, and she remembers the “intense sexual excitement” she felt during the encounter (Rubin 59). Since Connie does not know Arnold, she starts out playing hard to get. As she realizes that Arnold is older than her and that he knows way too much about her, she starts to get light-headed from his presence. “Arnold’s Threat-ridden seduction” cause Connie to become frantic as Arnold starts to call himself her lover (Urbanski 402). She is no longer playing hard to get, she knows now that this man could be dangerous. Connie is not “surrendering her virginal innocence” to Arnold just yet (Urbanski 403). Connie is still a child despite wanting to be more like an adult. Arnold Friend is forcing Connie to have more sexual knowledge than she actually wants. Connie’s original “deep-rooted desire for ultimate sexual gratification” is what made Arnold want her, and he won’t stop threatening her until that side of her comes back (Rubin 59). With his threats, Arnold shatters Connie’s

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