Patty Herst vs. Connie
Patty Campbell Hearst
Where are you going, where have you been? is a story about a young teenager named Connie that is rebelling against her parents and discovering her sexuality with older boys. No one can really control Connie; she sneaks around and hides what she does from her parents. Her character reflects a person named Patty Campbell Hearst who was kidnapped in the seventies. I am going to compare these two people.
The story of Patty Hearst is a bizarre one. First of all Patty is the granddaughter of the famous newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst. Thats why she was kidnapped in the first place. She was taken on February 4th 1974 by an activist group who called themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army. This uncanny group was trying to wage a war on those of status and money. When the SLA abducted Patty there was media frenzy over it. Anyway she went missing for two months then something most unexpected happened. She appeared on a surveillance tape helping the SLA rob a San Francisco bank. This bizarre twist of events is still being debated today. Why would a girl join her captors and help them in crime?
Now Ill compare how Connie resembles this concept. During the story Connie keeps going farther and farther with older and older boys. Keep In mind that shes a young girl much like Patty Hearst. Toward the end of the story a much older man named Arnold Friend arrives at her doorstep attempting to seduce Connie into going for a ride with him.
She was alone and he knew it. At first she kept telling him to leave but he started getting under her skin. He just kept trying to reassure her that he wouldnt hurt her and that he was her friend. But Connie knew from the start that he was a dangerous man and that something wasnt right. He knew all sorts of things about her. Arnold told her exactly where her family was at the time they were talking without her saying anything. It was obvious that hed had an eye on her. However Arnold Friend still hadnt convinced Connie to go with him. Then he started leaving hints that he was going to take her. For instance he said: Connie, dont fool around with me, I mean dont fool around. Eventually he was really getting to her and she threatened to call the police. Then he told her he would keep his promise and not come in the house unless she touched the phone. Then Arnold started saying This is our day Connie, Im your lover. By this time she was almost hysterical. Connie didnt know what to do. He kept pushing her and he finally told her: Youre inside your daddys house, thats nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down anytime. Then he outright threatened her family. Connie was eventually almost brainwashed and slowly left her house and drove away with Arnold Friend and thats where the story ends.
The idea of these two girls eventually doing what these evil men wanted even though they knew they were in danger is very weird. The explanation for this is that when a person is put into a situation like this they do what they think they have to survive.
The idea of survival fits Patty Hearst more that Connie because it was Pattys life that was threatened. In Connies case it was her familys lives that were directly threatened. Patty clamed that her captors tormented her, locked her in a closet, and the whole group sexually assaulted her until she agreed to do what they wanted. She also clamed that the SLA told her she was going to die and they forced her to record messages that blasted people she loved. So in both these cases you can see that the girls transformed into the person they thought they had to in order to survive.
At Patty Hearsts trial the defense attorney clamed that when a person is put under certain conditions they with unintentionally change their views and beliefs in order to survive. There have been countless accounts of this happening to people. In fact during the Hearst trial they brought in Dr. Robert Jay Lifton who had written a book about this type of behavior called Thought Reform. He had observed this type of behavior among prisoners of the communist Chinese. So this behavior has been recorded before.
In conclusion both these girls fell for a similar trap. In Pattys case her life was threatened. In the fictional character Connies situation her familys lives were threatened as far as she could tell. She should have realized that her life was also threatened. These are both examples of how people change in bizarre ways. Its still unexplainable how a person could start identifying with evil people that mean them harm but we are very strange creatures.