To illustrate, Connie was based on your average teenage girl. The story starts with her mom getting onto her for not cleaning her room, “Why don’t you keep your room clean like your sister?” Connie was always annoyed with her sister because she could never escape the shadow which her sister laid. Her mother was always comparing her to her sister, June. The only reason June was of any use to Connie was because her mother “had no objections” about either of them going out (Oates 205). These examples of Connie are perfect examples of realism, within the story.
Many surrealistic critics believe that Arnold Friend represents the devil with supernatural powers because of his inability to walk correctly and how he knew everything about Connie, but all of that can better be explained by realism. Marie Urbanski believes that “[h]is feet resemble the devil's cloven hooves” because of how clumsy Arnold is when he gets out of his car (Urbanski 2). Urbanski along with other surrealist critics focus mainly on the sentence, “One of his boots was at a strange angle, as if his foot wasn’t in it”, but in the next paragraph Oates even says “the boots must have been stuffed with something so that he would seem taller” (Oates 211). Arnold’s boots are not hiding his “cloven hooves”, but they are hiding “the comically vain height-enhancing rags and cans of Charles Schmid”