Shattered Superiority In The Face Of Danger

1801 words - 8 pages

A superiority complex is an attitude of superiority that often conceals actual feelings of inferiority and failure. The majority of people who suffer from a superiority complex feel inadequate somewhere deep inside themselves and as a result, treat others as lesser. They consider themselves to be superior to those surrounding them and are often condescending, quick to judge, and observant of the flaws of others. Yet they somehow manage to always overlook their own imperfections. Both Connie, a teenage girl with an inclination towards independence who is enamored with herself, and Grandmother, a self proclaimed lady who is stuck in the past and has no qualms about manipulating others in order to obtain what she desires, have superiority complexes that do not shatter until they are in the face of peril. They each have their respective sudden realizations only moments before they are violently ripped out of their worlds, Grandmother through death, and Connie through abduction. As a result they never get the opportunity to utilize this newfound self awareness. Connie from Joyce Carol Oates's "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" and Grandmother from Flannery O'Conner's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" are both flawed characters who believe themselves to be superior to others until they reach an epiphany that arrives too late.
Connie, who is incredibly shallow, regards others as beneath her; however, in reality she strives for the attention of strangers because she feels insufficient. Connie feels bad about herself because she feels that her "mother [keeps] picking on her." She makes up for this insecurity by fabricating a false sense of superiority. She is so desperate to eradicate these flaws in herself, which she refuses to consciously acknowledge, that her primary focus is on maintaining her looks in order to attract the opposite sex. Yet, although she has shortcomings, such as the fact that she is exceedingly self absorbed, Connie, who is always "gawking at [her]self" because she "think[s] [she]'s so pretty," believes herself to be perfect (Oates 337). She "[knows] she [is] pretty, and that [is] everything" to her (Oates 337). Connie compares herself to others and recognizes those around her as incredibly flawed. She is quick to judge people she comes in contact with for their imperfections. For example, the first thought of Connie's sister that pops up into her head is that she is "plain and chunky and steady," and that was why "Connie had to hear her praised all of the time"(Oates 337) Connie is hasty to point out her sister's vices, and does not even consider that her sister might be praised because she is deserving of praise. Connie regards herself as better than her sister, so she constructs an excuse as to why her sister receives praise rather than Connie. It's ironic that Connie conceals her weaknesses from herself, yet this superiority complex is a weakness in and of itself. Arnold Friend recognizes Connie's ravenous need...

Find Another Essay On Shattered Superiority in the Face of Danger

The Danger of Competition. Essay

1064 words - 4 pages Schools vary greatly in their competitive natures. Sixty-three percent of the students from John Hopkins University School of Medicine, for example, feel their classmates are extremely competitive, and most say they study very hard. On the opposite end, Yale University School of Medicine has a unique evaluation system in which there are no grades. This system produces an extremely non-competitive atmosphere. It is up to us to decide whether

The Danger Of Smoking Essay

934 words - 4 pages The Dangers of Smoking According to the federal government, nearly 3,000 American kids under the age of 18 become regular smokers each day. Of these kids, a third will die early from smoking related diseases. If that is not enough, one in every five deaths in the United States is caused because of this fatal habit. Fifty million Americans smoke including one in five teenagers and these rates are extremely disturbing considering that you

Superiority of Races in Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt

2362 words - 9 pages Superiority of Races in Babbit           Hatred, intolerance, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness are all terms that can be applied when describing someone who is a bigot.  By these terms George F. Babbitt, the protagonist in Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt, and many of his acquaintances are quite the bigots toward all those that appear different than he is especially immigrants and minorities in America.  The blame should not be placed

Personal Principles in the Face of War

895 words - 4 pages Personal morals are a powerful thing. However, when it comes to war, they take a back seat to duty. There are several examples, fiction and non-fiction, of how personal morals do not exist in times of active war. Morals will sit in the back of the mind and fester there until duty has been accomplished. Once the duty has been completed individuals that abandoned their moral compass will think of the wrongs they did in the name of duty. Although

Resilience in the Face of Terrorism

2313 words - 9 pages According to the United States Department of Defense terrorism is “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological” (United States Training and Doctrine Command, 2007, p. 2). Terrorists use violence and intimidation to stimulate fear in many individuals. They also

The Danger in Youth Sports

2332 words - 9 pages have low self esteem. Injuries are at an all time high and this is very dangerous for the development of kids. Children face verbal and physical abuse at a young age because of overly competitive parents and coaches and because of that, they never learn the most important thing about playing sports, having fun. Youth sports have been around since the early to mid 1900s and have become in institution, especially in North America. Sports such as

Demonstration of the Male Dominance and Superiority

1255 words - 5 pages romanticizes about setting up a hotel by a lake overseas somewhere in Romania, it is an exaggerated fantasy in which Miss Julie will serve not only as his financial support but also his personal servant, inverting their roles and reinforcing the idea of patriarchy and male dominance. Though Miss Julie was born into the upper stratum of society granting her authoritative power, Jean faces a superiority complex and declares that he “wasn’t born to

The "Ebony Antelope" Gallops of Aryan Superiority

2337 words - 9 pages infuriated with Jewish athletes permitted to participate because mass numbers of Jews flowed in from surrounding provinces. Their infuriation was kept at bay for the sake of image for the coming Games. As the Eleventh Olympiad progressed in August of 1936, one athlete in particular thwarted the Nazi racial ideology of Aryan superiority. Jesse Owens, a black American athlete, won four gold medals and set numerous world records in less than a three-day

The Jagged Edges of a Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman

1791 words - 7 pages Exploring the Jagged Edges of a Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman     Death of a Salesman tells the story of a man confronting failure in a success-driven society. Willy Loman represents all American men that have striven for success but, instead, have reaped failure in its most bitter form. Arthur Miller's tragic drama is a probing portrait of the typical American male psyche portraying an extreme craving for success and superior

The Jagged Edges of a Shattered American Dream in Death of a Salesman

1993 words - 8 pages with this dysfunctional family and their inability to face reality. In restraining Willy from his quest for wealth in the Alaska, the 'New Continent'[2], ironically the only realm where the "dream" can be fulfilled, Linda destroys any hope the family has of achieving 'greatness'. Even so, Linda symbolically embodies the play's ultimate value: love. In her innocent love of Willy, Linda accepts her husband's falsehood

The Danger of Sports Concussions

1769 words - 7 pages Due to the recent findings on concussion based injuries, chief bodies of sports associations from professional to organized sports should take all possible steps to protect athletes from the dangers of concussions sustained on the field of play using medical based assessments and time restrictions in returning to play too soon. The NFL has been pushing player safety more and more over the past couple years. Slowly but surely rules and

Similar Essays

The Theme Of Superiority Essay

1516 words - 6 pages How do the authors, Strindberg and Ibsen, portray the theme of superiority in “Miss Julie” and “A Doll’s House”. In both “Miss Julie” and “A Doll’s House”, August Strindberg (1888), and Henrik Ibsen (1879) present the theme of superiority in various ways. Superiority can be seen from many sides, Social superiority, the superiority of men over women and at different points the superiority of women over men feature in both plays. At the time

The Shattered Dream Of Communism Essay

2671 words - 11 pages Many people all over the world look for an outlet for which they can improve their quality of life. They strive to find the means of transforming their dreams into reality. Communism, to people everywhere, has offered the means for transforming the dream of economic equality into reality, throughout history. Communism, however, like various other political and economic movements in the history of man, has become just another shattered dream

The Superiority Of Men Over Women In J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace

1968 words - 8 pages This essay is about the superiority of male characters over female characters in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace. This essay will examine how dominant the male characters on female characters in this novel. Through its contrasting male and female perspectives, in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace masculinity plays a dominant role by the male characters, especially by Pr. Lurie and Petrus.At the very beginning, when writing about the superiority of men over

Superiority Complex In Humans: War Of The Worlds

2411 words - 10 pages H. G. Wells, author of the science fiction novel The War of The Worlds, used irony and foreshadowing to portray the theme that humans have a superiority complex that makes them think they have control and that they are the superior race. H. G. Wells is often regarded as the father of modern science fiction. Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, in the south of England on September 21, 1866. Wells was not born into a wealthy family. Sarah