Beauty By Joyce Carol Oates Analysis

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At the beginning of Oates story, Connie is viewed as a young girl with no cares in the world except for the idea of having physical beauty. Joyce Carol Oates wrote that Connie would “look right through her mother” because “she knew she was pretty and that was everything” (323). By including this, Connie is seen as a self-centered girl who only wants people to speak to her if she will make sure they drown her in compliments. She refuses to retaliate to her mother because her mother just doesn’t understand the “hardships” she has to go through to look attractive. The idea of blocking everyone out helped Connie build her self-confidence. To emphasize Connie’s narcissism, Oates stated that “Connie’s mother kept picking at her until Connie wished her mother was dead and she herself was dead and it was all over” (324). Because Connie felt so negatively of her mother and family, she creates an idea of wanting to be on her own. She doesn’t know exactly what it is like to be without anyone to use as a crutch, but Conni feels as if her mother doesn’t want her to be pretty. Connie wanted to shut her family out because she felt as if they didn’t love her as much as her genuine sister June.
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She went from a world of selfishness to a world of sin and terror. After Connie was taken away by Arnold Friend, it is likely that she was raped by the two men and killed. It can also be assumed that her body was never found, and her family never went to search for her. They were glad to have the girl who never truly loved anyone out of their sight. She went with the devil to the land of the unknown. The idea of Connie being dead comforted those who were around her. It can be predicted that Arnold Friend went and tried to take June away from the family, but she was smarter than Connie and made sure she protected herself from the man who killed her
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