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Shattered Superiority in the Face of Danger Essays

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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…show more content…
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 to feel superior, and he exploits this by feeding her a false sense of superiority by informing Connie that she's "better than [her family] because not one of them would have [sacrificed themselves] for [her]"(Oates 353). Through Grandmother's skewed definition of a good person, she deceives herself into trusting in the false notion that she is above others. Due to the fact that she is a lady, a title that means everything to her, Grandmother feels superior to those around her and considers herself to have moral authority and advantages over others. Grandmother goes out of her way to
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