What would Connie's transforming experience be in this story?

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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Connie's most powerful transformation is one that doesn't really take place in the story, but which is implied throughout its second half. Arnold Friend, an older man who has been watching Connie at the shopping mall, shows up at her house when her family is away. He tells her he is her lover and uses sexually suggestive language with her. He knows she is vulnerable because she's alone, and asks her to come for a ride with him, but she refuses, He says she can either come with him, or he will come in, and the implication is that unless she complies with his request he will rape her. Coming with him willingly signifies an act of consensual sex, at least as far as Friend is concerned. The story ends with Connie walking out of the house and towards his car, suggesting she is going to allow him to have sex with her take her virginity, which represents a profound act of transformation for an adolescent girl. However, the most important transformation could also be said to take place when she decides to take a ride with Friend, as this symbolizes both her decision to enter the world of adult sexuality, as well as making a choice that may either save, or end, her life. The story is deliberately ambiguous on the outcome.

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