What are the consequences that Connie in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" and Edie in How I Met My Husband face for wishing for adulthood too soon?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that both narratives feature a different vision of what happens when one seeks adulthood too early.  The primary difference between both protagonists is that there is an acceptance of reality on Edie's part.  This acceptance comes too late for Connie.  The threshold of revelation for both differs in time, spelling some level of happiness for one and a sense of doom for the other.  In both, there is a desire to cling to adulthood as some form of ideal, something unattainable and attractive because it is presented as fundamentally different from what is front of both.  Edie seeks a vision of reality that is radically different than the world in which she lives.  This transformative hope is where her love of Chris Watters lies.  For Edie, such a love is where her desire for adulthood lies.  Yet, when she is able to put aside her love for Chris as a form of waiting, and accept the reality that is placed in front of her in the hope of finding some semblance of happiness, it becomes here where happiness emerges.  This is a bit different for Connie, a character whose clining to the ideal of adulthood is done so in the hopes of escaping the perceived banality of where she is and in what she lives.  For Connie, adulthood and the cultural capital attached to being popular and sophisticated is how she differentiates herself from a world that is so much the opposite.  It is here where she attracts Arnold, recognizing too late that the flight into the realm of the idea without any reflection or self- introspection can be disastrous.  Whereas Edie recognizes the need to "stop waiting, " Connie understands this too late, understanding that she must save her family by sacrificing herself.  In both narratives, adulthood is an ideal, something that both characters perceive as "the answer."  Only through reflection and rumination do both recognize the pain of their folly, with Edie benefiting from this and Connie failing to do so.

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