Connie also brings out the theme of free will in

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1981). Connie also brings out the theme of free will in instances like when she refused to join her family to the barbeque, which upset her mother. Connie begins to exercise her freedom to do whatever she wants as a maturing young adult. Also, Connie shows heroism when she decides to give herself to Arnold to save her family. The state of women is a theme in Connie's life that is in a weak spot. Connie dislikes her older sister and continuously gets into petty fights with her mother who tries to be stern with her. Becky, who is meant to be her best friend, is the least significant person in her life. The theme of the pursuit of independence is, however, brought out in the novel in a fascinating and captivating way. This theme seems to be the dominant theme in the story. As she nears adulthood, Connie is excited about experiencing the things that adults do experience and she is blinded by her fantasy view of the world. She is continuously admiring herself in the mirror in efforts to make herself look more sexually attractive (Gillis, 1981). She relies on the adults in her life for care and having a social life. She does things her way without really asking for help from those around her. Connie takes charge of the decisions that she makes and takes
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Surname6 responsibility for them just as an adult or an independent person would do to show that she is in pursuit of independence. Connie runs to a restaurant across a highway that is full of teenage boys who are older than her. She does this with her peers, without the knowledge of their parents. This action shows how she gets to exercise her independence as a growing young woman. Like most of the young people, Connie begins to experiment her persona; getting to try out different behaviors with her peers. Apart from the little time they rely on their parents, Connie and her friends mostly do things independently and do not like to be questioned by their parents. Connie does not want her mother asking about her friends. As Connie is searching for independence, she begins to distance herself from her parents. She is no longer under the control and protection of her parents. She lies to her parents about going to watch a movie to see a boy. She feels that her parents should not know what goes on in her life and should not also know who she hangs around with (Quirk, 1981). When her mother asks about a particular wild friend of Connie's, as a concern, she pretends to dislike her so that her mother would not go into details much about her friend. She pushes her mother away as she does not listen or care about what her mother has to say. She often goes against her family especially her mother and her elder sister, who are the only life she ever knew. Connie decides not to attend the family barbeque, and her parents leave her at home by herself. This refusal to go out with the family shows how she goes against the odds of what happens in a typical family where the parents get to make decisions for their young children. She
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Christopher Reinemann
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