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Character Analysis Of Emily From "Truth Of Consequences"

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A normal young girl, Emily and her mother move to Hilton. However, in Hilton Emily cannot find normality. She will then play a game, with power for change. Truth or Consequences did just that. This seemingly harmless childhood game presented Emily with a choice. She chose the harder of the two without realizing it and this choice would change her life. Alice Adams illustrates how the early childhood events of Emily's move to Hilton, first kiss, and first "boyfriend" changes her life forever.

While pushing for acceptance Emily finds herself in unfamiliar circumstances. As a young girl Emily and her mother move to the town of Hilton. She differs from other girls by looks and class. She says this in regards to her differences, "In any case, being richer and younger than the others in my class made me socially very insecure, and I always approached the playground with a sort of excited dread." [Adams 85] Emily wants to fit in, she wants people to see her as normal. She grows excited when the other girls approach her on the playground. This excitement comes from hope of acceptance. When the other girls approach/talk to her she sees it as her closer to normal. However, at the same time she shows fear in the possibility that the other girls will push her out of the social spectrum. Emily exists as a pawn to the girls ploy and can only achieve normality through their consent. The girls will test Emily on the topic of a certain kiss with Car Jones.

The girls approach Emily and ask her if she would rather be eaten alive by ants or kiss Car Jones. Emily has a literal mind and this constitutes why she says she would kiss

Car Jones. This answer causes pandemonium and proves the main point of Emily's reflection. Soon after the kiss actually happens as follows, "Car reached for my hair and pulled me toward him; he bent down to my face and for an instant our mouths were mashed together. (Christ my first kiss!)" [Adams 86] Emily does not know what to make of the kiss. She finds confusion in Car's stained teeth, dirty hands, and angry approach. She does not believe that Car did it pleasurably. Car says before the kiss, "No, first we have to do it." [Adams 85] Therefore the pressure of their peers may prove a considerable factor in Car's reasoning. However, publicity would show as Car's real reason.

This kiss spawns two very important ideas. First, Emily views Car as abnormal because of his age and of him as a "truck child." Her view explains why she tries to forget about the kiss soon after. Everything that Emily does seems to have a solo purpose, acceptance. Car Jones stands in her pathway to that goal. Emily tries to build a tower of credibility and more importantly fears her own social deconstruction. Second, Emily may have some type of minor infatuation with Car Jones. Examples of this "infatuation" show in Emily's pursuing interest in Car's matters. She continues to show interest in his affairs even though he represents a social vice. One may deduce that the reason of Emily's "infatuation" derives from specific circumstances. Emil's first kiss does happen with Car and that may prove a valid reason. However, this kiss underlies the main reasoning. People perceive Car Jones as different, dirty, and unacceptable. Emily will realize her feelings and attitudes toward Car were wrong and he in fact proves normal. This realization changes things. However, Emily does not see this until many years later.

After the incident with Car Jones, Emily returns home to find a new



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