Connie and the grandmother: a striking resemblance
Two characters, one an adolescent and beautiful, the other aged and outdated, are distinguishably parallel and dissimilar in many ways. Connie is a naïve, pubescent girl who is portrayed in Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where are you going? Where have you been?” In Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the grandmother is introduced as a whiny, old-fashioned character. On the outside the characters seem to be living in two different worlds; looking deeper into the works of Oates and O’Conner, one can see the correlations between these separate worlds that they live in.
Firstly, the major flaw of Connie and the grandmother is that neither of them lives in reality. Connie sees her life as a movie. She is greatly influenced by pop-culture and repeatedly relies on music as a safe-haven in situations and daydreams of her life being like the movies. For instance, when Connie and her friend go to the diner, a situation in which Connie is somewhat unfamiliar and anxious, Oates writes, “the music was always on in the background . . . it was something to depend on”(Kennedy and Gioia 656). On the other hand, the grandmother lives her life in another time. S
She once tells her grandchildren, "In my time, children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else. Connie basically lives two separate lives: home-life and social-life. Even though in their death the two differ as stated above, Connie and the grandmother are still alike where the reader"tms sympathy is concerned relative to their deaths. This is not an unusual way for a person to act, but it is a definite difference in the way that she acts with her family and the way she acts with a complete stranger. The grandmother"tms deception likewise leads her and her family to their deaths. Because of Connie"tms actions of acting older and making sure she is beautiful and receives attention, she is noticed by her killer. The grandmother aided in her and her family"tms death in numerable ways. In so many ways one can see how these two works compliment each other and at the same time set themselves apart. Also, because of her realization in the end that the end of her life is near, the reader sympathizes with the fact that she still had a full life ahead of her. "Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and another for anywhere that was not home"(Kennedy and Gioia 655). Regardless, the reader still sympathizes with both Connie and the grandmother. The fact that Connie and the grandmother both put their wants in front of others is another quality found to be prevalent in their selfishness. When a strange vehicle comes down to Connie"tms house, instead of concerning herself with who it was and whether or not they should be there, "her heart began to pound and her fingers snatched at her hair, checking it, and she whispered "Christ, Christ,"tm wondering how bad she looked"(Kennedy and Gioia 658). Granted, she is in a state of hysteria and shock, but Connie was as well.