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Connie’s Choice in Where are you Going, Where have you Been?

Where are you Going, Where have you Been? – Connie’s Choice

I think Connie opened the screen door because she wanted to escape from her life with her family into some kind of fantasy. I think there were other reasons also, but the story points to this one in many places.

First of all, Connie was not happy at home. The story says that her father “was away at work most of the time,” and “didn’t bother talking much to them,” so Connie didn’t have love from him and had to find male attention somewhere else. Connie found her happiness in escaping with her friend to the drive-in restaurant and daydreaming about boys. But the happiness she found in both of these things had nothing to do with actual events; it is based on a fantasy. When she was out at the drive-in with a boy, her face gleamed “with the joy that had nothing to do with Eddie or even this place; it might have been the music.” When she daydreamed about boys, they all “fell back and dissolved into a single face that was not even a face, but an idea, a feeling mixed up with the urgent pounding of the music…”

A theme that runs through this story is that music seems to be the bridge from the real world into Connie’s fantasy world. She doesn’t know what she wants, but it’s got something to do with “the music that made everything so good.” When Arnold Friend drove up the driveway, Connie was listening to music, “bathed in a glow of slow-pulsed joy.” She soon discovered that he was playing the same music in his car. This is not a coincidence; I think it makes a connection in the back of Connie’s mind. And, the story says that it seemed to Connie like Arnold “had come from nowhere,” and “belonged nowhere,” and that everything about him “was only half real.”

I think in some strange way Arnold becomes to Connie the way to escape into her fantasy. When she learns his true intentions she is scared to death at first but eventually that fear gives way to “an emptiness.” Connie thinks, “I’m not going to see my mother again… I’m not going to sleep in my bed again.

Soliloquies Essay – Claudius’ Soliloquy in Hamlet

Claudius’ Soliloquy in Hamlet

Claudius’ soliloquy about his remorse over his murder of Hamlet’s father is important to the play because it’s the one place where we learn how Claudius feels about what he has done. The rest of the play is all about how Hamlet feels about what Claudius has done, and I think it rounds out the play to get it from a different perspective.

From the soliloquy I can see that Claudius feels sorry for the murder, but not sorry enough. He says, “Oh, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven.” He wants to pray for forgiveness of his offense, but laments, “Pray can I not,” because “I am still possessed of those effects for which I did the murder – My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.” He murdered Hamlet’s father in order to get those things and he is not willing to give them up. He realizes that true repentance would be willing to give then up, and therefore, he is not really repentant. This is why at the end of his prayer, he says “Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” There’s no point in saying he is sorry because God knows he doesn’t really mean it. So, the best he can do is pray that God will make him sorry, by pleading, “Heart with strings of steel, be as soft as the sinews of a new-born babe.”

All of this shows that Claudius is introspective and honest with himself. It also does contradictory things to my opinion of him. Depending on how I look at it, this prayer can make me feel sympathetic towards Claudius as I learn about the inner torture he is going through and how awful he feels about killing Hamlet’s father. On the other hand, it also makes me more angry with him because I realize he fully understood how terrible what he did was, but he chose to do it anyway, and now he knows he should repent, but refuses to. As terrible as his guilty feelings are, they obviously aren’t bad enough to make him change.

Claudius still holds out some hope for himself, though, saying “All may be well.” But he shows there really isn’t much hope left, when, a few acts later, he plans Hamlet’s murder to preserve the same things he killed Hamlet’s father to get.

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