Myrto’s Reaction, Essay Example
After reading Oates’ story, as well as Myrto’s reaction, it is clear that the oncoming dangers are felt by the reader. Myrto states that “ … in my mind I was predicting that trouble would be on the way for her because she was so ‘careless’.” Indeed, reading the story was a dramatic experience, one filled with dread as we learned to read Connie’s fate. Even if it didn’t take the direct toll in the story, her fate was not going to be ‘good’ by any means.
Yet, even this was a bit confounding for me. As I read the latter heated discussion in the story, while any reader could feel the dread that was oncoming, it was still confusing to digest what was happening. Why was she reacting that way? Why couldn’t she just call the police, and so forth? It took a few minutes for the allegorical nature of the story to sink in – that this wasn’t simply some twisted horror story. While the story can be viewed as one of manipulation and coercion – and accepted within psychological interpretation in this manner – I don’t think that it is the primary point that Oates is trying to make.
One thing confused me about Mytro’s reactions: the need to come up with an ending. Honestly, for me, I took a realist approach. It was clear that this was not going to turn out well, but, after reading Connie’s inability to cope with the pressure placed on her, it didn’t really matter. It didn’t matter whether she would be murdered, brainwashed, or even that the ending would be left for interpretation.
For me, the ending serves as the ending. Or, perhaps more accurately explained, there didn’t need to be a traditional ending. Reading through Connie’s less-than-impressive reactions – to put it nicely – was a stomach-turning experience. In my opinion, adding a traditional ending wouldn’t necessarily add meaning to the story. That would be more akin to a horror story of sorts, or some happy ending – and this story is anything but those two types of stories.
Overall, in my opinion, it is natural to be confused and confounded by the nature of the story. While a general sense of rebellion is nothing new, the primary conversation that takes place is quite tantamount with fantasy. Both the trickster and the object of the trickster seem to be from another world, fulfilling a plot line that seems fictional – and nothing else. As a result, reading through the story can be a bit mystifying. Oates forces the reader to take an in-depth look at the story to unearth the meanings of the story. It is certainly not a one-dimensional story, but one that has many interesting areas that cannot be understood fully, at least during an initial reading.
In terms of being informed and influenced, I can say that the warning is well-taken. The story carries a warning of “do not let this happen to you,” which is now linked to pretty much every horror movie/story around. Dangers lurk when someone starts becoming sexually rebellious, looking for this type of attention from strangers. Of course, the trickster Arnold Friend is a dangerous character in another light, and in many lights.
What results is another lesson in being careful. While the story is hardly realistic, for my taste, along with horror films, for instance, you simply never know what you may run across in life. You may meet creepy people of the opposite sex, or people that want to take advantage of you in some way, for any reason. Being ready to cope with things that most people never meet is important.
As a natural extension of this, innocence is a particular area where I was informed. There is certainly a danger attached to being ‘innocent’ in the world, in just about any light. It does not need to be dramatic or dangerous, as in the story on some levels. For instance, individuals can be very innocent about their careers, not taking a strong enough approach to work ethic and education. For Connie, her innocence regarding adulthood was her downfall. While many people may not share in Connie’s story, they may share that same flaw that leads to a difficult transition.
In terms of being infuriated, there is a part in Myrto’s reaction that is noteworthy. While it is more akin to a gross oversight than being worthy of infuriating myself, the oversight is unacceptable. Myrto’s characterization of Arnold Friend as a villain and a deluded performer is correct. However, she takes it a step further – unjustifiably.
Myrto states that Friend “captured and presented to us all of our own deluded beliefs. He represented all of us.” Myrto later says that Friend was “echoing our words, our sentiments, our values as a society” and connects it to what we teach our “young girls” as a society. There is, of course, a problem with this – Friend certainly does not represent all of us. Not everyone in society is a monster, trying to take advantage of someone else; and certainly not in this way. To connect everyone with this jaded character is a troubling mistake, and one that could be labeled as offensive.
Likely, Myrto is trying to establish a general connection with Friend and society. Likely what was meant was more akin to there being “bad” people out there, so to speak. Or, in other words, people are out there that will take advantage of unsuspecting people. However, to say that Friend represents all of us is unfounded, untrue, and a gross dramatization of a rather simple point. In light of Friend’s more deceptive and troubling qualities, this comment from Myrto takes on even further lack of relevance.
Overall, the story and Myrto’s reactions certainly reveal a great deal. The story is one that can be rather confusing. It can also inspire emotions that are difficult to rationalize, due to the layers of meaning that the story contain, as well as the actions of the characters involved.
The lesson of innocence and rebellion is well-taken. As individuals in a society that can be dangerous, we must be careful how we act. While a certain level of rebellion is normal, it is easy to take it to dangerous levels. For some, like and unlike Connie (unlike in how the story plays out), surrounding oneself with less-than-optimal characters can be undercutting to one’s growth. As students, workers, human beings, one in a relationship, and so forth, we must be careful how rebellion, the presence of innocence, and other interrelated concepts play out in our lives. If we aren’t careful, it can take a major toll on us.
One interesting lesson that can be taken from this is that things may not be what they seem. In relationship to certain characters/people, or something else, there is something to be said about being careful. For Connie, trusting people she didn’t know was a major downfall for her. Allowing her innocence and rebellion to go hand-in-hand was another downfall. Taking these lessons as a person – not just in a literature-based perspective – we must be careful to observe people and items in depth. Something may not be what it seems to be. We must ultimately be prepared for as much as possible.
Time is precious
don’t waste it!