Oates suggests that Connie's inaction (or complacency) in the story is due to a lack of moral "center" in her life. She does not have any strong convictions about anything except her own beauty (the narrator informs us that "she knew she was pretty and that was everything"). The world of "trashy daydreams" that Connie lives in is something she embraces rather than facing the mundane and unsettling aspects of her home life. We are told that Connie's father works most of the time and that her mother constantly "pick[s] at her" while praising Connie's older sister. It is her complacency and tendency to lose touch with reality that makes Connie a target for Arnold Friend.