vain (knows she’s attractive—“…she had a quick nervous giggling habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people’s faces to make sure her own was alright.”)
typical superficiality of teenagers (ego formation, identity)
typical rebellion of teenagers
typical sexual experimentation, testing of boundaries
“dates” many boys at the drive-in (makes out in their cars—no SEX)
does not get along with her mother: thinks she is smarter than/better looking than mother
lies: @ mall
embarrassed by family (barbeque), sister (school), mother
possible Elektra Complex with her father
perhaps desperate for his attention seeks it in the attention of any male figure
JCO on Connie:
“An innocent young girl is seduced by way of her own vanity; she mistakes death for erotic romance of a particularly American/trashy sort.”
“Connie is shallow, vain, silly, hopeful, doomed—but capable nonetheless of an unexpected gesture of heroism at the story’s end….We don’t know the nature of her sacrifice, only that she is generous enough to make it.”
beady eyes, white (no sun tan)
(stuffed shoes clumsy, awkward, hard to stand/walk…absurd)
tight black jeans
tight white shirt
muscles (strong make good on threats)
sing-songy voice, melodic, hypnotic
jalopy (from another time; old)
painted name, smiley-face-w/-glasses
JCO on Arnold:
“self-styled 1950s pop figure”
“alternately absurd and winning”
the story has no evidence that AF has kidnapped & murdered other girls or that he intends to do the same with Connie
“smooth talking seducer”
jealous, envious of her daughter’s youth & good looks, freedom, sexuality
was once attractive, BUT no longer
favors the reasonable, secure, steady daughter, June
pays little attention to his daughters, wife
nightly routine: ate supper, read newspaper, went to bed
financially secure (secretary at Connie’s high school)
lives at home
helps out at home (cleans, chores)
darling of her mother
“…she was so plain and chunky and steady that Connie had to hear her praised all the time by her mother and her mother’s sisters.”
DUALITY: look one way at home, dress another w/friends
rebellion, lying "ducking fast across the busy road, to a drive-in restaurant where older kids hung out"
(*danger, thrill, "breathless with daring")
"She wore a pull over jersey blouse that looked one way when she was at home and another way when she was away from home. Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home: her walk, which could be childlike and bobbing, or languid enough to make anyone think she was hearing MUSIC in her head; her mouth, which was pale and smirking most of the time, but bright pink on these evenings out; her laugh, which was cynical and drawling at home—"Ha, ha, very funny"—but high-pitched and nervous anywhere else, like the jingling of her charms on her bracelet."
freedom, thrill ("breathless with daring"), danger, adulthood/maturity,
power (over high school boys their own they could ignore),
*BLINDNESS* (don't see the reality of the place: gaudy, fly-infested),
a pseudo-religious place for teenagers--CHURCH, even w/music
(*Mammon*, false gods, idols [Golden Calf])
Pied Piper, leading kids ("And Connie paid real close attention herself"),
phony name (like Arnold Friend, Manley Pointer)
mirrored sunglasses: hide his eyes eyes = windows to the soul (no soul, hide true intentions, not used to the sunlight = DEVIL, vampire); "mirrored everything in miniature" (condescension); she couldn't see what part of her he was looking at; ***she was always looking at her own reflection in mirrored surfaces he = her vanity, dream, reflection of her true self***)
fatal attraction to bright objects, self-destruction?
death (at drive-in, barbeque, screen door), feed on flesh;
pests of summer (danger of youth?); blindness?
STILL A CHILD:
way she dressed (ballerina shoes, charm bracelet)
thin wrists, ankles, shoulders
way she acted (tantrums)
way she sat at counter (crossed ankles, not legs)
Eddie at the drive-in (sat backwards, spun, hesitated to ask)
SELFISH: leaves her friend behind at the restaurant, who "wouldn't be alone for long" (left to fend off the wolves)
music in her walk
music at the restaurant (like CHURCH music)
music = the appeal of the restaurant (not Eddie, not the place itself) -- "the pure pleasure of being alive"
music on the radio (Sunday) "to drown out the quiet" (avoidance of facing reality, truth about her feelings, loneliness, empty life)..."hard, fast, shrieking songs" and Bobby King
music from Ellie Oscar's transistor radio
music in Arnold's voice
ARNOLD FRIEND: 1st meeting:
right as she felt "the pure pleasure of being alive" (IRONY)
"Gonna get you, baby."
grinning Big Boy, grinning Arnold Friend
then left w/Eddie to eat, drink Coke, make-out (SEX???)...as did her girl friend
Connie looks back at 11 PM to the
deserted, faded, "ghostly" mall parking lot AND
then to the hive-like, busy, musical, alive drive-in
(SYMBOLISM of youth, transition from youth to young adulthood)
dreams & fantasizes about the boys she's met
BUT ... all the boys "dissolved into a single face that was not even a face, but an idea, a feeling, mixed up with the urgent insistent pounding of the MUSIC and the humid night air of July."
@ Arnold Friend?
What is the "idea" or "feeling"? (love, danger, freedom, escape, adulthood, sex drive)
dreams in the sun, on Sunday, of boys
ARROGANCE OF YOUTH:
"Her mother was so simple, Connie thought, that it was maybe cruel to fool her so much...." lies to her mother about not knowing the Pettinger girl who got pregnant, to distant herself from the SAME (dangerous) behavior
girl = pregnant, kidnapped??
MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS
danger of her behavior (pregnant, kidnapped)
ELECTRA COMPLEX (rivalry, antagonism)
going over to the drive-in from the mall...instead of movies
drive-in = her church, R&R = her church music (false gods, idols)
sleep in on Sundays, no church attendance (none in the family -->lapse in morality, family bond)
Connie sees a barbeque as "running yelling kids and the flies" BUT that's the same as the drive-in
doesn't see the risk, DANGER in drive-in, lying, flirting, sex, Arnold Friend
dreams of boys (mixes w/Arnold Friend)
daydreams on Sunday of boy from the night before
the boys were always "nice" "sweet" "the way it was in movies and promised in songs"**
*when she awoke, she was lost; surreal; house looked too small (house = SYMBOL of her blossoming adulthood, her readiness to leave the nest)...so she had to shake herself awake
hypnotic effect of the radio show, as she "bathed in the glow of the slow-pulsed joy that seem to rise mysteriously out of the music itself..."
READINESS TO LEAVE THE NEST:
arguments, nagging with her mother
the contrast between the mall & drive-in
her blossoming sexuality
the 3-year-old ranch house that "looked small"
the “big world” behind him
leaves with Arnold Friend
shabby black, unkempt hair (wig?)
four short beeps, as if that was their signal
hid eyes, soul; vampire in sunlight;
she couldn't see what part of her he was looking at;
***she was always looking at her own reflection in mirrored surfaces
he = her vanity, dream, reflection of her true self***)
listening to the same music program
*he doesn't back down, doesn't allow Connie to lie or downplay certain things
(Bobby King is great, her excuse to do "things" instead of go for a ride)
knows her all too well,
knows teenager girls really well,
reflection of her, creation of her mind (dream)
CAR: his name painted on the painted car, plus sunglassed smiley face; #33, 19, 17 ("a secret code"????); dent with "DONE BY CRAZY WOMAN DRIVER" (protective mother, angry teenage girl, his reckless driving)
*car = lure: AF uses the car's marking to lure her out of the house, and then into the car (Connie doesn't bite)
AF = dressed: short, dressed in the latest style ("which was the way all of them dressed"
AF is a predator trying to fit in w/the kids/his prey [**"a wolf in sheep's clothing"],
*AF = animal-like: predator dressed as prey, muscular, hawk-like nose, "sniffing as if she were a treat he was going to gobble up" (foreshadowing)
*as if he's known her for so long: 4-beep signal, not allowing her to lie/down play, "This is your day set aside for a ride with me and you know it." "I know my Connie." "I know your name and all about you....I took a special interest in you...." (fate? prophecy? devil been watching her?)
his eyes: pale, not used to the daylight ("night owl," devil, vampire, creature of the night)
no destination: no plan to go to any place no direction, plans only to rape & kill?
SATAN: omniscience = knows about her name, her family's barbeque, when they'll return, where she was the night before, her best friend Betty
smile, sing-song voice (predatory)
SATAN: knows about Connie & her family, knows other kids (including the Pettinger girl got her pregnant, killed her??)
*SATAN: out of date: "MAN THE FLYING SAUCERS" = painted on his car, "It was an expressions the kids had used the year before but didn't use this year." (she doesn't get the message: predator mobile, like animal changing its skin to fit in [wolf, sheep*])
music: playing on Connie's radio, Ellie's radio, AF's voice, AF tapping fists together in time to the music, music blend together
AF's "sign" = an "X" (????? -- just his weirdness, absurdity)
SATAN: his "slippery friendly smile"
Connie’s recognition #1, 2: notices but does not put it all together yet (car, behavior, dress, talk)
AGE: 30, maybe more (when asked, his smile vanished) "At this knowledge her heart began to pound faster."
(*taboo, rising fear, sexual arousal, Electra Complex*);
he lies and says 18 (see "GCP" and Joy's lie about her age--both lies easily seen through)
Big Bad Wolf: he smiled at being busted, w/big white teeth (foreshadowing)
MASK: wig (191), mascara on his eye lashes (195), boots (197)
*Ellie = "Death" sunglasses (hide thoughts), bright orange shirt, pale bluish chest, no muscles, collar up to block sun (vampiric); fair, hairless face, veins too close to skin (like a baby); maybe older at 40
Connie's realization #3: "dizziness" while looking at Ellie in a trance? rising fear? hypnotic music? dream?
Connie asks them to leave X2 (refuses him change in TONE**)
Dream: AF's voice = Billy King's voice
heat getting to AF impatience, cracks his veneer, demands Connie to come out
Connie's realization #4: fear & dizziness rising at his change in tone
unreality: AF becomes a blur to Connie, she gets the idea that he "had come from nowhere before that and belonged nowhere and that everything about him and even the music that was so familiar to her was only half real." (dream) (Satan)
Connie threatens him with her father (odd, because she doesn't rely on her father AND Arnold sees right through this lie, too; empty threat) (childish: I'll get my father after you.)
SATAN: vision #2: vision of the picnic and what they're doing "right now" (true vision OR good guess??) Aunt Tillie, June's dress, drinking, corn husking
mistake? just a good guess: fat woman at the barbeque (Connie fills it in, but doesn't realize: Mrs. Hornsby does not belong there)
hypnotic suggestion: tells exactly what she's going to do (hypnotic? threat? weirdness? *daddy figure?)
VIRGIN: "I'm your lover, honey....You don't know what that is but you will." (??) (sex slave? rape?)
danger: nice at 1st
always keeps his word (lie?)
sexy talk, talks dirty to her her reaction = to put her hands to her ears to block the sound (more fear, sweat; turned on??)
he lurches & almost falls: weakened state caused by being in the daylight too long
caused by her resistance,
caused by his stuffed shoes
Connie threatens him with calling the police (this threat scares him, more than that of her father)
MASK: "as if he were smiling from behind a mask. His whole face was a mask...." (wearing pancake make-up down to his throat)
promise: always tells the truth, won't come in the house (vampire: can't come in unless invited?) --unless she calls the police, then his promise is off (veiled threat--behind the mask [see Manley Pointer in "GCP"]*)
surreal: DREAM: as it was when she 1st awoke in the yard, the kitchen now doesn't look familiar, she notices her failed responsibilities* (dirty dishes, sticky table)
SATAN: boot at a strange angle, crooked (or ABSURDITY)
threat: break through locked screen door (or anything), light the place on fire (to get her to come out)
"stop fooling around": as if he expected to just rush at the opportunity (slut), another veiled threat?
outdated: AF echoes a popular song from last year, about a girl rushing into her boyfriend's arms & coming home again (music & his voice) (dream?)
lie: Connie lies again @ her father coming home soon (*CHILD: 2 authority figures for a child = daddy & police)
Ellie: "You want to pull out the telephone?"
**the seriousness of the situation, they are not leaving without her
“Death”: he's just learning to use the language
Arnold = angry: embarrassed b/c boots OR angry b/c he doesn't want Ellie to spook the prey*
SATAN: "Don't you know who I am?"
**open threat: come out OR I'll kill your family
SATAN: after Ellie's question #2 @ the phone, AF snaps, "as if he were running through all the expressions he'd learned but was no longer sure which of them was in style...." (*outdated)
behind the mask: open threat
old lady down the road(??): she's dead (he doesn't know? he killed her? he's claiming he killed her?) What "rudeness" is he conscious of?
"What are you going to do?" (relenting) sex
"It's all over for you her...." (Bob Dylan song*)
Connie tries to call the police, but the DIALTONE roars in her head (fear? SATAN),
too weak with fear (hypnotized?),
calls out for her mother (strange!!),
trapped inside house & trapped inside a wailing (in hell?)
(glimpse of her future as sex slave: "...AF was stabbing her again and again with no tenderness."**),
screaming (last vestige of will power)
** AF = in total control: when she comes to, AF = in total control, her will is gone; he commands & she responds
other "personality" wins,
wish fulfillment issue =resolved*
now she is "hollow": fear before, now emptiness
Connie's realization: a "pinpoint of light" deep inside her brain: "She thought, I'm not going to see my mother again. She thought, I'm not going to sleep in my bed again."
realization of her doom/fate, death
odd, her final thoughts are of her mother
*Electra Complex: symbolizes a daughter's coming to terms with her animosity with her mother
AF: in a "stage voice": "The place where you came from ain't there any more, and the place you had in mind to go is cancelled out. This place you are now--inside your daddy's house--is nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down anytime. You know that and always did know it." (3 little pigs) (title)
TITLE, SATAN, SLUT: knows her too well, bad reputation, where you've been determines where you'll go: AF "That [her heart she's feeling] feels solid too but we know better. Be nice to me, be nice like you can because what else is there for a GIRL LIKE YOU but to be sweet and pretty and give in?—and get away before her people come back?"
threatens her family again
SACRIFICE: Connie sacrifices herself for her family's safety (his physical strength, his eyes, something about him Connie knows will make good on the threats)
vision #3: AF claims: "they don't know one thing about you and never did and honey you're better than them because not one of them would have done this [SACRIFICE] for you."
SATAN, anti-Christ: embrace with his arms open, elbows pointing at each other ("a little mocking")
END: behind AF was "so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to it."
eternity, ie, her death? ashes to ashes, dust to dust = her death?
initiation in to adulthood?
she didn't recognize the house or the kitchen & now the world adulthood, too big for the "nest"
Describe someone older you have noticed who hangs around high school, even though he has already been graduated (years before).
What do they say and do? How do they act, dress, talk?
*POWER OF MUSIC: Discuss the hypnotic AND illusory quality of music, the (false?) promises it makes, its (erroneous?) treatment of life & women & relationships
Connie is seduced by Arnold’s use of music: his voice = announcers voice, his voice = lyrical like songs, he = image from songs, promises better life as songs do (songs = “her sole connection to a better life”she succumbs)
What is significant about this age? Today, still?
Seen in “Hunters in the Snow.”
ENDING & EPILOGUE:
What happens to Connie?
Does her mother search for her?
Compare to epilogue of “GCP.”
Does she need to learn a lesson (like Joy)?
Does her mother look for her?
Connie threatens AF with her father.
Connie calls out to her mother & thinks about never seeing her mother again.
AF calls Connie his “Blue-eyed girl.”
How is Connie responsible for her own fate?
How does she bring it about herself? What previous behaviors?
VI. BACKGROUND STARKWEATHER MURDERS: (1958)
Charles Howard Starkweather, Jr. (19)
James Dean image
poor, desperate loser
Eisenhower’s 2nd term
FBI, JE Hoover
typical 1950s conformity
James Dean (Rebel Without a Cause)
violence & alienation
1) killed gas station attendant for refusing him to buy on credit a toy dog for Caril Ann Fugate: returned at night, bought cigarettes & candy on 2 separate occasions, then returned again w/gun, robbed for $100, then kidnapped Robert Colvert to deserted area, fight over gun, shot wounded RC in head with shotgun…told Caril Fugate about it
2) went to Caril Fugate’s home for her, argued with mother & stepfather, shot them dead, clubbed to death her 2-year-old step-sister; buried their bodies around the back of the house…told Caril Fugate about it?
Caril and CS stayed in the house for 6 days
sign on the door about the flu (misspelled words)
3) drove to Starkweather family friend’s farm outside of town, shot August Meyer in the head
got stuck in the mud
teenagers Robert Jensen & Carol King offered to give them a ride;; kidnapped; taken to abandoned storm cellar; shot; Fugate shot the girl; took RJ’s car
back to Lincoln, to wealthy part of town, industrialist’s home, killed wife & maid (Fugate stabbed them multiple times); shot husband C. Lauer when he came home; stole his car, looted his house; traveled to Wyoming
Merle Collison, traveling salesman asleep on the side of the road, shot by CS, but finished off by Fugate
CAUGHT: Collison’s car wouldn’t start, sheriff happened by, ** Caril Fugate turned on CS (said he kidnapped her & threatened to kill her family)**, high-speed chase, CS shot in the ear, stops & surrenders b/c he thought he was going to bleed to death from superficial wound
TRIAL: changed story several times, Fugate = innocent, then willing accomplice (at her trial)…he electrocuted 6/25/59 (5 months later), she paroled in 1976
(subdued & buried alive under Mt. Aetna, their breath = volcano)
Titans ruled, imprisoned in Tartarus
then the Giants rebelled against the Olympian gods, buried under Mt. Aetna
shot with Cupid’s “love arrow”
sees Proserpine, in love, carries her off to Underworld
9 days/nights search around the world (found nothing)
weeps at a rock, in the guise of an old woman
goatherd and his daughter returning w/flock comfort her & invite her home
his baby boy = dying Ceres repays father’s kindness by curing baby with a kiss AND plans to make him immortal (mother stops her; Ceres reveals herself & scolds mother BUT promises to make the boy a great man/teacher of the plough/father of agriculture) Triptolemus teaches world, builds temple in honor of Ceres in Eleusis (establishes “Eleusian mysteries,” greatest of the Greeks)
searches the world #2
returns to the River Cyane in Sicily
water nymph gives Ceres Proserpine’s girdle that she dropped during abduction
BUT does not tell her what she saw, who took daughter where (afraid of Pluto)
Ceres punishes the land for willingly opening up and taking her daughter
drought, animals won’t multiply, famine
*abandons her divine function*
a spring, formerly a woodland nymph
tells Ceres her story as well as Proserpine’s location:
ran away from ALPHEUS, god of a stream, when she was bathing & her pursued
hidden in a cloud by goddess Diana
turned into a spring
hid in a cavern
traveled through the Underworld
where she saw Proserpine (as Queen)—time has passed
came up in Sicily
appeals to Jove & Jupiter
(Jove is Proserpine’s daughter)
Jupiter gives her return one CONDITION:
Proserpine must not eat while in the Underworld
Or else the FATES forbid her release
Proserpine “sucked the sweet pulp from a few of the seeds”
no complete release
½ year with mother, ½ year with husband
*Proserpine = symbol (allegory)
(1) signifies seed-corn:
planted/sowed = concealed underground
grows/matures = returns to her mother
(2) winter & spring
(3) death & rebirth
*myth explains the origin of the seasons (allegory)
*myth explains the cursing of the earth, “fall” from a “paradise” (allegory)
previously = NO break in the seasons (all 1 season), no droughts, failure of cattle to multiply
*myth explains the origin of farming/agriculture (allegory)
previously = NO agriculture, plough-farming
RIVER ALPHEUS truly goes underground
Sicilian fountain ARETHUSA passes under sea, reappears in Sicily
literary references to myth:
Paradise Lost Book IV: Proserpine’s wooded lake = Garden of Eden (tries to describe Garden by comparison to wooded lake, foreshadow fall)
Kubla Khan: begins with reference to the River “Alph” (Alpheus)
“HISTORY” of the gods:
Great Mother Goddess, Gaea (Gaia—“earth”)
she produced “son” Uranus (sky god, 1st ruler of earth, 1st Titan)
Gaea mated with Uranus, her son (TITANS)
Cronus (the ruling Titan),
Rhea, Phoebe (Titan of the moon),
Oceanus (Titan of water), Tethys (wife of Oceanus),
Hyperion (Titan of light), Mnemosyne (Titan of memory, mother of Muses),
Themis (Titan of justice & order; mother of the Fates & seasons),
Iapetus (father of Prometheus, Epimetheus, & Atlas
Prometheus: wisest Titan, means “forethought,” fought w/Zeus against Cronus, protector & benefactor of humanity—gave fire punished by chained to rock, eagle peck his liver
Epimetheus: stupid, “afterthought”
Atlas: punished for leading Titans against Zeus hold world on his back
Coeus (Titan of intelligence), Crius, Thea
Cronus overthrew father Uranus, encouraged by Gaea
(b/c Uranus imprisoned 6 storm gods (Cyclops, Hecatoncheires) in Tartarus)
Cronus castrated Uranus (held down by other Titans) death
Cronus mated with Rhea, his sister (OLYMPIANS) Hestia, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, Zeus
(2) Homeric Hymn (c.650 BC): Hades asks for Zeus’ assistance (look the other way), father allows uncle to rape his daughter Persephone plucks “cosmic flower” (narcissus)—enchanted by its unsurpassed beauty/caught off guard, earth opens (no abduction, per se)
(3) King Celeus, servant Iambe rites of Communion in Eleusinian mysteries
(4) Hecate helps Demeter (sends her to Helios); Neptune rapes Demeter, in human and horse form; Persephone = Queen of Erebus, 2/3 & 1/3 year
Tartarus vs. Hades:
Hades = afterlife, mighty warriors, ancestors
Tartarus = gloomiest part of Hades, dark & horrible region, evildoers
Persephone vs. Aphrodite: over Adonis (split ½ and ½ )
pomegranate= sexual knowledge
mother-daughter relationships(of their respective times):
Persephone & Demeter get along VS. Connie & her mother
the often-difficult transition from maidenhood to adulthood/marriage
daughter's obsession with her father (during the phallic stage)
hostility towards mother (caused her “castration”)
later, fear of losing mother’s love revokes this antagonism, internalizes
Freud: “feminine Oedipus attitude”; renamed by Carl Jung
Euripides’ Electra (daughter drives her brothers Orestes to kill their mother Clytemnestra & her lover in revenge for killing their father Agamemnon)
death instinct, death drive
“an innate and unconscious tendency toward self-destruction postulated in psychoanalytic theory to explain aggressive and destructive behavior not satisfactorily explained by the pleasure principle -- called also Thanatos” [personification of Death, twin to Hypnos] (Merriam-Webster)