Such thing happened to Connie, the main character of the story, whose ways are a lot more grown-up than her 24-year old sister, June. June was simple and plain looking, whereas Connie is obsessed with her appearance and the need to always look good. Oates describes Connie to have a quick, nervous giggling habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other peoples faces to make sure her own was all right (1). She goes out with friends who possess the same behavior and together they love going to the mall, restaurants, and movies houses up until an hour before midnight.
One can never see them hang out in places where girls of their age usually are. Connie thinks that the sprees of a typical teenager are boring. And thats the reason why she goes out in places where young adults spend time. She loves mingling with older boys and her mother never approved to any of those. Connie then, covers what she is doing outside her house by acting differently when she is at home. This is how Connie gets away with her need to show others that she isnt an ordinary 15-year old with regular hobbies. She wants to show all the people that she was somebody different somebody far more classy and superior to others.
At 15, Connie was adventurous and has cars and older boys enlivening her. She lives a wild and thrilling life when shes outside. Her haven outside was the drive-in restaurant across the busy road where a lot of older kids normally hung out. It was a fly-infested restaurant, but Connie and her friends are pleased and expectant of the place as if it were a sacred building when they are inside it (Oates 1). Connies love to live a mature life is exemplified by her preference for loud music and shiny cars. She chooses to talk to boys older than her when shes inside the restaurant and ignores the ones who merely came from school. Connie is obviously caught in a world not apt for her, and she is yet to know how harmful that could be for her.
Connie never liked family affairs because she believes her personality wasnt apt for those gatherings. She never liked household chores and doesnt clean even her own room. One Sunday her whole family was invited to a barbeque at an aunts house. Connie, being uninterested about the matter, rolled her eyes to her mother and said shed rather stay home. And thats when her maturity pretense is going to catch up on her. Arnold Friend, a guy whom she encountered in the same restaurant she frequents, suddenly drove into their garage in his newly painted car. He looks much older than 18 years old, which he claims to be.
He is enticing Connie to come and ride away with him, together with another friend Ellie, who is to sit in the cars back seat. Connie was more than hesitant. But Arnold is clear that she doesnt have any other choice but to go out with him. Arnold has something inside him that was both weird and scary and something had made Connie totally helpless with the situation.
She knew she was headed for trouble, but she cant scream or run or do anything about it because Arnold has this supernatural power of disorienting her and making her house feel like a box of carton that is unable to protect her from the harm that he can do to her. Arnold was not merely human. In him is an evil soul and his physical appearance is merely a disguise of what he really is. Connie, unable to think right and is defenseless, have no other choice but to go to him and follow.
Maturity has its wages. People come to age when the right time comes. Rushing it up doesnt make us more mature than what we really are. Posing to be mature wont cause people to respect us more. Instead, doing so openly shows our insecurity and vulnerability to them. And that is something they can use against us. Acting mature doesnt make us mature. It makes us weaker than we should be.