American Novels Writing Style
Fire and Water Symbols in “Sula” by Toni Morrison Essay
Updated: Jul 10th, 2021
In Sula, Toni Morrison depicts the relationships of two girls living in the African American community of Bottom. The novel aims to describe their complicated lives in the social context of people’s conventional perceptions. Water and fire are used by the author as symbols of destruction and purification respectively, which allows the readers to better understand the main characters in the context of the communist oppression.
Water motif can be observed throughout the novel, and it determines the plot structure and serves as a means of understanding the entire story. The first scene with water shows the adolescence of Nel and Sula, who played with Chicken Little when Sula unintentionally caused his death by drowning him in the river. The responsibility for this death lies on Sula, causing upset and agitation in her inner world (Idol 59). Water is also associated with Shadrack, a paranoid WWI veteran, and a fisherman, who lived on the riverbank and observed the death of Little Chicken. It is noteworthy that he led the parade when the tunnel collapsed at the end of the story and some of the community members died: “They found themselves in a chamber of water” (Morrison 162). It is possible to interpret these events as irony: people who oppressed Sula and considered her eccentric were killed by water. At the same time, water may act here as a symbol of cleansing, which ended people’s painful lives. Thus, water is a symbol associated with death and parallels between characters, which are utilized to make meaningful plot twists in the novel.
Fire also serves as the cause of death of several people, which has an evident purifying impact. When Hannah, Sula’s mother, attempts to make a fire outside the house, her dress catches fire, and Eva tries to help her by jumping from the window on the second floor and fails. The second case happens to Plum, Eva’s child, who was burned by his mother due to mental instability after returning from the war. This act may seem violent at first, but it represents humility and release from suffering. While Eva poured kerosene on her son, he felt “some kind of baptism, some kind of blessing” (Morrison 49). The readers may note that she killed him led by mercy since her son wanted to die like a man. The words “snug delight” and “wet light” show that Plum wanted to die and that water was present in his last minutes as well (Morrison 49). Overall, fire is perceived in close connection with the cleansing and alleviating end of life.
Fire and water are intertwined in the final scenes, which imply that death as the final stage of one’s life summarizes all person’s actions, emotions, and behaviors, making them all accepted and pacified. In the episode when Sula dies in loneliness at the hospital, she “met a rain scene and would know the water was near” (Morrison 149) and she “woke gagging and overwhelmed with the smell of smoke” (Morrison 148). The denouement becomes evident to the readers due to a simile used by the author to refer to the deaths of both Sula and Plum. Namely, just as Eva smelled smoke before her son passed away, Sula smells it too. The protagonist’s personality becomes clear in the last scene, in which she is purified and unrestricted from the blame of her community. Thus, the use of water and fire in combination allows the author to present a more thorough analysis of the end-of-life moments and their relation to people’s lives.
Water and fire play a key role in the lives of characters in Sula, which represent their emotions as well as behaviors. Water symbolizes destruction, retribution, and pacification, while fire shows cleansing at the end of life, which is merciful and calming. Both symbols are used by Morrison for the purpose of portraying death, detailing its causes, and explaining relationships between people through these symbols.
Idol, Kimberley. “Contemplating the Void: How Narrative Overcomes Anonymity in Toni Morrison’s Sula.” Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, 2017, pp. 48-68.
Morrison, Toni. Sula. Vintage, 2004.
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Narration Styles of Hawthorne, Gilman, Faulkner Essay
Updated: Jul 3rd, 2021
It is undeniable that narration is a critical element in fiction writing, as it makes a story more personal by providing thoughtful reflections from a certain point of view. Whatever viewpoint authors envision in their writing, narration, therefore, is essential for the construction of a thought-provoking and interesting story. This essay aims to analyze narration types in Hawthorne’s, The Birth-Mark, Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, and Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily.
The Birth-Mark is a story of an incredibly attractive woman, Georgiana that has a small red birthmark on her cheek. For the majority of men and the main character herself, this birthmark did not spoil Georgina’s beauty and even was considered appealing. However, the woman’s beloved one, Aylmer, detests the birthmark and is of the opinion that Georgiana will look perfect without it. Finally, Aylmer invents the elixir, which was capable of removing the birthmark. In spite of the fact that after drinking it, the nevus almost fades away, Georgiana deceases.
In reference to the thoughts of both of the main characters in The Birth-Mark, Aylmer and Georgiana, is given by the narrator. Readers do not know who exactly tells the story, but it seems that this person is acknowledged about all the details of the protagonists’ lives. Thus, the narrator in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work is third-person omniscient. For instance, readers discover that Aylmer considers the birth-mark unattractive and unpleasant as “the symbol of his wife’s liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death” (Hawthorne 13). Nevertheless, they also become acknowledged of the specifics of Georgiana’s emotional reaction to her husband’s opinion.
However, there is the odd moment or two in which the author throws out his omniscience. It was stated that it was impossible to comprehend if Aylmer believed in a theory that a person is able to control nature (Hawthorne 2). This statement could be considered odd because the author retains omniscience throughout most of the story and links the opinions of Aylmer and Georgiana. Consequently, it might be suggested that the narrator is the author himself, who tries to moralize and make a point about humankind’s limitations (Christensen 5). Throughout the story, Hawthorne has a clear message he tries to convey to his readers – basically, that this work is educative as well as ethical. Remarkably, nowhere, the mindset of the writer is, as shown in the final paragraph, when the narration is dropped, and the author directly appeals to readers.
However, the author is so concerned with moralization that it is hard for readers to notice the climax. What is the reaction of Aylmer to the death of his wife? What is the reason behind Aminadab’s laughter? Does Aylmer consider this tragedy a personal mistake or not? These points are not clarified by Hawthorne, perhaps, because he mainly focused on teaching his readers a lesson.
The Yellow Wallpaper
This story of Gilman is told in the first person, the protagonist, and she is the central narrator. The main character suffers from what her husband, John, considers a “temporary nervous breakdown,” insisting she resists the temptation to do something and telling her to rest as much as possible (Gilman 2). It is essential to mention that the protagonist loves writing and desires to spend her time doing that; howsoever, John and the rest of her family are against this idea.
Nonetheless, the narrator begins drawing the wallpaper pattern fanatically and soon becomes persuaded that within the paper, there is a woman trapped and that she is capable of setting her free. When John enters the room, he faints as he sees the protagonist running around the room, peeling the paper off the walls. The narrator does not pay attention to the unconscious husband.
Since it is clearly understood that the narrator loses her sanity, it is difficult to decide whether readers should trust her viewpoint. There surely was no girl “imprisoned” in the wallpaper. However, the depiction of the woman stuck in the wallpaper was certainly to show a similarity with the protagonist; the narrator is also trapped in her room, as she does not like it and stays there all day. In addition, the protagonist is also unfree because she is a woman of the 19th century and is obliged to follow specific rules. However, the continuous use of “I” by the writer to express the narrative encourages readers to comprehend the protagonist’s madness and cultivate some empathy towards her plight.
A Rose for Emily
The story, A Rose for Emily, begins with Miss Emily Grierson’s funeral. No one has been visiting her house in ten years, except for her servant, so every guest is curious to have a look inside the house (Faulkner 22). Notably, Grierson’s home is presented not only as a symbol of life’s gone splendor but also signifies the negative sides of the current American society. It was her community that made the woman believe that only marriage could make her worthwhile.
However, due to the fact that Grierson has never married, her purpose of being important was never achieved. In one step of the life of a traditional woman, she was stuck— being a child. And, as such, she was confined literally to living in the house of her father. Emily was an unusual person, first of all, as the city did not tax her, and also because the man she was dating was lost after entering her house.
A Rose for Emily is considered to be narrated from a first-person, who is peripheral. Furthermore, as stated by Ahmadian and Jorfi, “In A Rose for Emily, Faulkner does not rely on a conventional linear approach to present his characters’ inner lives and motivations” (220). Throughout the story, it is visible how the author stretches the timeframe of the described actions. Additionally, the narrator could be aptly named as “first people”: sometimes the speaker talks as Jefferson’s men, sometimes for women, and often for both. The words of the narrator also speak for the three generations of Jeffersonians, including the father of Miss Emily’s family, the generation of Miss Emily, and the younger family members composed of the children of Miss Emily.
The narrator on the first two generations is pretty hard, and it is easy to see how Miss Emily’s treatment may have led to her fall. It gives a somewhat confessional insight into the story. Besides, Faulkner often uses the subject “we” throughout the story, no other people in the town were to blame for such a life tragedy of Emily but herself. The city’s willingness to accept accountability now is a hopeful sign that helps us to see a better future for future generations.
Different narration types were used in all of these three stories, through which the authors were able to portray a particular picture of the described story. For instance, in The Yellow Wallpaper, Gilman assisted readers to feel the madness of the protagonist because it was she who told this story. If a different narration style were used in this work, probably, it would not have such a deep insight into the main character’s mindset. Consequently, every narration style is suitable for specific stories depending on what the writer aims to reflect in his work. The narration is the charm and the critical element for a coherent understanding by readers.
Ahmadian, Moussa, and Leyli Jorfi. “A Narratological Study and Analysis of The Concept of Time in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies, vol. 6, no. 3, 2015, pp. 215-224.
Christensen, Bryce. “Black Magic vs. White Magic in Hawthorne’s ‘Birth-mark’: The Science of Control vs. the Poetics of Imagination.” Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, vol. 7, no. 3, 2015, pp. 2-8.
Faulkner, William, John Carradine, and Anjelica Huston. A Rose for Emily. Verlag F. Schöningh, 1958.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. Project Gutenberg, 1999.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Birth-Mark: 1843. Infomotions, Incorporated, 1843.
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Realism and Naturalism in Howell’s “Editha” Essay
Updated: Jun 12th, 2021
Written in 1905, Howell’s “Editha” describes the life of a young patriotic girl who attempts to reach a higher social rank in society by making her beloved to fight in a war. Featuring a middle-class protagonist, the author pictures an ordinary person, whose perspectives on life are formed by authoritative forces, political propaganda, and religion. With respect to literary movements, “Editha” is predominantly a Realist short story, incorporating several elements of Naturalism.
The short story contains a number of characteristics of Realism, such as the representation of real life, a focus on ordinary people, middle-class characters, interacting within themes of society and social classes. Despite having blind faith in her country, Editha is not a heroine. She sees war as a duty and an act of honor for an American, saying, “there are no two sides, anymore. There is nothing now but our country” (Howells 1444). Similarly, Editha’s lover, George, represents a Realist character, as he readily acknowledges his mistakes and understands that the prospective dangers of the war are equivalent to a death warrant. Nevertheless, ashamed to disappoint Editha and lose his sense of pride, George chooses love and self-dignity over passive safety.
Along with the Realist trends, “Editha” manifests several common characteristics of Naturalism, such as Howells’ pessimistic outlook on the war and social dynamics, influencing Editha’s and George’s behavior. From one perspective, George’s decision to go to the war is an honorable action. However, from the other angle, George is driven by natural instincts of pride to prove his manhood to Editha. Editha, in return, is reduced to act upon her basic instincts, failing to detach from the pressure of society when sharing her attitude toward the war. The story’s plot is filled with violence and corruption as extreme manifestations of Naturalism.
In conclusion, Howell’s “Editha” is a valuable piece of Realism, which includes all the essential components of this literary movement, such as the representation of reality, ordinary middle-class characters, and a focus on societal issues. However, in this case, the line between Realism and Naturalism is not sufficiently distinctive, since the story contains a pessimistic outlook and focuses on the basic natural instincts. Therefore, when analyzing the writing, it is critical to be aware of both literary perspectives.
Howells, William Dean. “Editha.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 6th ed., edited by Nina Baym, W.W. Norton, 2002, pp. 1441-1453.
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Literary Devices in “Dis Mem Ber” by J. C. Oates Research Paper
Updated: May 22nd, 2021
The writing of Joyce Carol Oates is known for its mesmerizingly dark and disturbing themes that the author addresses without any hesitation. Often bordering on the public definition of acceptable, Oates’ novels allow dissecting the human nature and revealing the darkness hidden underneath a seemingly cheerful interior of being well-adjusted. By using metaphors as the key literary devices to imbue her stories with new meanings, Oates manages to represent certain objects in a rather gloomy and mysterious light, thus hinting on the theme of evil hiding under the guise of the ordinary.
Methodology: Literary Device Analysis
In order to explore the themes that Oates raises in Dis Mem Ber, as well as the tools that she uses to convey the specified themes, the literary device analysis was utilized. Specifically, the novel was dissected and explored to locate the devices and tools that Oates used to convey her main ideas. In addition, the meaning that each of the devices conveyed and the notions that it established were analyzed. Thus, the intrinsic connection between the themes and the devices that were used to purport them was established.
Findings and Discussion: Literary Devices and Themes
Adopting the literary device analysis, one will realize that Oates has incorporated a range of techniques into her writing in order to depict the evil and violence of the ordinary. The very first chapter of the book sets the mood for the rest of the novel, creating an atmosphere of unease and tension. The literary devices such as metaphor, simile, pun, and symbolism are evidently utilized to foreshadow the horrifying events that will unfold later and, thus serve as the tools for expressing the banality of evil and violence.
Metaphors are, perhaps, the most common tools that Oates incorporates in her novel to depict the evil and violence of the modern society. The author incorporates a vast array of metaphorical expressions that serve the purpose of exploring the omnipresent evil and violence in the modern society. For instance, the turquoise necklace that the mother of Jill, the protagonist, receives as a gift from Rowan Billiet, the main antagonist, seems to be a rather innocent gift. However, afterward, it is explained that the necklace has strings of hair in it (Oates 63). Thus, the necklace becomes a metaphor for abuse, violence, and evil that lurks under the guise of attention and affection.
In addition, Oates uses foreshadowing profusely in Dis Mem Ber creating the sense of unease and the impression of invisible danger closing on the characters. For instance, when describing Rowan Billiet, Oats mentions that he would be “in charge of the bingo game,” which can be interpreted as the foreshadowing for Billiet’s further fate (Oates 49). In the specified case, the literary device appears to be twofold, with “the bingo game” seemingly referring to life, in general, and thus representing a metaphor, yet later proving to be a false clue and, thus being an instance of very smart foreshadowing.
Thus, leading to the false assumptions of the character surviving, with the readers’ expectations being subverted eventually, foreshadowing is utilized as the means of stressing the evil of the modern society. In addition, the very term “bingo game” can be seen as the metaphor of the need for the characters to escape the clutches of an insane murderer and, in a broader sense, the fight for survival as part and parcel of the modern cruel world. Thus, Oates once again points to violence and evil as inescapable elements of the contemporary reality.
In order to stress the increasing unease and tension within the narrative and between the characters, Oates also utilizes a simile. For instance, at the very beginning of Dis Mem Ber, the author compares the smile on the face of the antagonist to the one of a doll, using a simile as the means of expressing the building sense of suspicion and fear (Oates 9). Likewise, a simile is used in the very next sentence to describe a blacktop road as a “simmering mirage” (Oates 9).
In fact, the specified case also represents a very peculiar intersection of the two literary devices combined into one, with the mirage embodying the uncertainty and threat that is lingering in the lead character’s life.
However, by far the most important device that is used in the novel only once and nonetheless manages to produce an earth-shattering effect, eliciting utter horror in readers is symbolism used in the very title. Ironically enough, the specified approach is never repeated anywhere else in the story, allowing the reader to delve into reading without knowing the context of the title and came to the horrific realization later.
It could be argued that the specified technique also fits the definition of a visual pun, which in itself is regarded as a rather lowbrow type of literary techniques. One may wonder why an author of Oates’ caliber would use a trope so well-trodden and tired in her novel, let alone in the title. However, a closer look at the specified literary device will reveal that Oates utilizes it intentionally to juxtapose the mundane and the horrific, at the same time proving that the two can coexist in the modern society.
Indeed, in the title, the idea of a visual pun as a very naïve approach toward the symbolic representation of the content of the novel collides with the underlying dark symbolism of the title, thus creating a conflict. The seeming incompatibility of the specified approach produces the effect that borders shock and immediately persuades the reader to pay attention to the narrative. As a result, the use of literary devices contributes to the portrayal of the evil underbelly of the mundane environment. By incorporating the literary devices such as a simile, a metaphor, a pun, and symbolism into her novel, Oates helps the reader to see the evil that lurks in the everyday setting and the violence that permeates it.
By using literary devices such as metaphor, simile, pun, foreshadowing, and other tools, Oates renders the idea of evil and violence as inseparable parts of the contemporary society. The author addresses the themes of violence and evil by imbuing the elements of everyday life with hidden meanings and outlining the way in which the characters speak, think, and behave. The similes also serve their purpose of establishing the elements of the evil that lurk in the mundane lives of citizens, whereas the titular pun makes the readers’ spines crawl with fear. Oates builds a world in which the tiniest hints indicate the presence of evil, yet she also leaves a glimpse of hope for the protagonist, allowing the story to instigate social change.
Oates, Joyce Carol. “Dis Mem Ber” and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense. The Mysterious Press, 2017.
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Lexicon in “Al Capone Does My Shirts” by Choldenko Essay (Book Review)
Updated: Apr 15th, 2021
Find 1-3 context-rich sentences that include different challenging vocabulary words. Copy those sentences below and underline the words you hope to teach students.
The following sentences can be considered context-rich due to the ambiguity of some of the words used in them:
- “I’m not a ventriloquist and Natalie isn’t my dummy, but today I want her mute” (Choldenko Chapter 27)
- “NEW HOPE FOR KIDS WITH MENTAL DEFICIENCIES, the headline read” (Choldenko Chapter 28).
- “My mind is scrambling.” (Choldenko Chapter 28).
Learning new words fast and being able to use them in a context is an important skill that students must develop. For instance, to allow the students to define the meaning of the word “ventriloquist” in the first sentence, it will be required to adopt the contextual approach. As soon as the students read the passage describing Natalie as a dummy, an object that a ventriloquist typically has, and mentioning that the narrator would like her to be silent (e. g., following his lead), they will be able to come up with the definition that nails down the essence of the word in question.
As for the word “deficiencies” in the second example, it will be required to undertake the semantic approach. By using such a semantic clue as “deficit,” it will become possible to help the students recognize “deficiency” as something that a person may lack.
The phonic approach is perfect for letting students identify the meaning of the word “scrambling.” Even though they may fail to come up with the exact definition of the sound, they will get the idea of what onomatopoeia is and how it is used in novels. More to the point, the introduction of a new principle of word-building may be turned into a small and creative exercise of finding examples of onomatopoeia that students are familiar with.
In your text on pgs 228, 229, 230 there are charts with common homonyms, homographs, and idiomatic expressions (idioms). Find an example of each in your Newbery book and list below.
The book provides a plethora of opportunities in exploring the phenomena of homonyms, homographs, and idiomatic expressions. For example, the book features such an idiomatic expression as “my chest falls” (Choldenko Chapter 27). Meaning that the narrator is experiencing an emotional moment, this expression can be used to teach the students what a metaphor is. Another peculiar idiomatic expression, “Her voice has a catch in it” (Choldenko Chapter 28) is also worth considering and teaching the students to put it into context. Speaking of the homonyms that the text has to offer, one must mention the word “close,” which appears as a verb in the sentence “I close my eyes, blow air out of my mouth and walk faster” (Choldenko Chapter 29) and as an adjective in the sentence “’We came so close to getting into the cell house with Mrs. Capone,’ Piper says” (Choldenko Chapter 29). As for homographs, the word “hands” in the sentence “She hands NEW HOPE FOR KIDS WITH MENTAL DEFICIENCIES to my father” (Choldenko Chapter 28) and “My mom claps her hands” (Choldenko Chapter 28). While in the first sentence, the word “hands” was used as a verb “to and” in the Present Simple Tense, in the second sentence, the word “hands” denotes a plural form of the noun “a hand.”
Beginning on pg234 in your book there are many examples of semantic maps & organizers you can use to teach a vocabulary word. Choose one of these organizers and create it using a chosen vocabulary word from this section of your book.
The vocabulary word chosen for the next activity is “ventriloquist.” To help the students learn using the new word and recognizing it in the context, a specific semantic map will be used. The semantic feature analysis chart seems to be a perfect choice for helping students locate the meaning of the word in question faster and learn to use it correctly. Three columns will be created for this assignment. In the first column, the students will list the attributes of the profession of a ventriloquist (e.g., a puppet). In the second column, the characteristics of a ventriloquist will be listed (e.g., mysterious, weird, etc.). The third column will include the nouns (people, objects, places) related to a ventriloquist (e.g., a concert, etc.). Tin the course of this brainstorming activity, the students will be able to memorize the very concept of the word in question, thus, remembering its denotation.
What background knowledge or understanding would your students have to have in order to get the most out of this book? Consider the discussion on p266 in your book. What cultural or social experiences would match the Newbery book best and what might you have to scaffold for students?
When defining the key specifics of books as a type of media, one must mention that books, unlike such forms of media as films or TV shows, have reading levels. Unlike movies or animated feature films, which can be translated into the language accessible for both adults and children, books create a realm that is suitable only for a specific audience. The given specifics of books as a form of media can be traced easily in Al Capone Does My Shirts. It was written for children and with the key specifics of a child’s worldview in mind. However, even books like Al Capone Does My Shirts require that the reader should have some basic background knowledge, including economic, political, and social aspects of life. For example, the very fact that the events described in the book take place on Alcatraz demands that the students should have at least the very basic idea of what Alcatraz is. Moreover, it is crucial that the students should be aware of who Al Capone, the person mentioned in the book title, is.
Read about classroom strategies to develop schemata on p269. Choose one of the strategies bulleted on p269 that you feel you are not very familiar with (or that you feel might be a bit outside of your own comfort zone as a beginning teacher)…and explain how you would use it as related to your Newbery book to help students prepare for new learning.
Such a strategy as a classroom background generating activity can be used to help the students feel more comfortable about the new topic and the new vocabulary. Though there must be very few students, who are aware of what Alcatraz is, or who al Capone was, the topic is still very popular and rather recognizable. Therefore, to prepare the students for reading, it will be required to ask them to tell about famous outlaws that they know about, as well as prompt their interpretation of Alcatraz by asking them where criminals go after being caught. Finally, the issue of one of the character’s mental disorder should also be brought up to get students ready for reading. This can be done by asking them to name common mental disorders and explain what they presuppose (e.g., memory loss, uncoordinated movements, etc.).
Write a summary of this section of your Newbery book.
Some of the most intense chapters of Al Capone Does My Shirts, chapters 27–33 describe a rapid change in the relationships between the lead character and his sister. Not only does he grow overprotective of her, but also seems to be using his sister as the means to envision himself as a strong and self-assured person. The leading character is clearly evolving, yet his personal progress can hardly be seen as positive. Moose sees that his sister is talking to one of the prisoners and grows increasingly jealous of her. Even though the criminal, who interacted with Moose’s sister, is rather friendly towards the lead character and is clearly willing to become friends with him, Moose prefers to alienate himself from the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Piper finds out about the baseball from Moose and his sister. The leading character is desperately trying to get his parents to listen to his concerns about his sister, yet they are unwilling to get involved.
Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts. New York, NY: Puffin. 2006. Web.
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“Girl” a Novel by Jamaica Kincaid Essay (Critical Writing)
Updated: Feb 14th, 2021
Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”
The writer employs expository style of writing because she gives facts pertaining to the event. In this case, she explains how moral issues were transmitted from parents to offspring. The writer uses facts to educate and inform the reader on how traditional society behaved and performed its key roles. She shows that parents, especially mothers had a big role in shaping the behavior of their children particularly girls.
The type of writing is written in a formal organization style because the writer expresses his/her views to the reader. The reader is expected to go through the text without any difficulty. Readers are only convinced by using evidential information (Rozakis 67). Factual data is therefore another component of expository writing. The writer in the text uses authentic statements to show the reader that culture was supposed to be preserved in the family.
For instance, the mother warns her daughter that she should always walk like a good woman instead of posing as a slut. She is much worried about the idea of women becoming sluts because it degrades an individual’s standing in society. Other components of expository writing include qualitative arguments, the consistency of paragraphs and transitions from one idea to another, and finally lucidity and accuracy at the sentence level (Comer 25).
The mother recommends that the daughter should behave like a woman, not a slut because environments vary. Sunday is considered a special day and it should not be used to display immorality. It is on Sunday that everybody is keen on the way things are done in society. The comments suggest that women are prepared to take up responsibilities at home. The mother makes her daughter understand that the society does not appreciate sluts in society.
The daughter could not end up getting a husband in case she behaves like a slut. In this regard, the mother could be thought of as a traditionalist who prepares her daughter to be a good future wife. The daughter is modern since she wants to behave according to her instincts but not according to societal norms and standards. This suggests that there is a conflict between the reasoning of the mother and the thoughts of the daughter. The mother believes that society shapes the life of an individual while the daughter imagines that an individual is free to do as he/she wishes. This implies that people have freedoms of expressions.
The major conflict in the text is between modernity and traditions. The mother believes that children must be guided through life. In this respect, she goes a notch higher to advice her daughter on which people to like. This was common in traditional societies because the society was structured in terms of social classes and gender. It was very difficult for an individual to enter a different class. In this case, intermarriage was highly discouraged meaning that the rich could only marry themselves.
In the modern society, the sky is the limit for hard workers. The society does not place any restrictions to individual fulfillment. In other words, the society acts as a medium through which people realize their goals and objectives in life. The mother wants her daughter to behave in a way that pleases other members of society while the daughter wants to ape modern life depicted by celebrities (Stubbs and Barnet 12).
Could it be a monologue, the audience could not feel the essence of the story because the mother could have been dismissed as a traditionalist who does not understand intricacies of modern societies. This could not change the reader’s feelings and emotions because the words could have been understood to mean personal perspective, not the viewpoint of society. Dialogue is important in this text because it guarantees comparison. The daughter seems to be dissatisfied with the mother, which allows the reader to comprehend her reasoning (Kazin 32).
The mother advises the daughter to be careful in life because abortion could be necessary at some point. The mother demonstrates to her daughter how she could make a good drug that could be utilized in flushing out the fetus. This shows that the society allows abortion even though it is not legalized. Such an advice could not take place between a man and his son. Men are expected to learn their roles in the course of growth and development. It shows that roles are allocated in society based on gender (Whyte 112).
Incarnations of Burned Children
Hysterical realism means a literary genre exemplified by a strong difference between ornately ridiculous text, machinations or categorization and vigilant, exhaustive investigations of authentic specific social incidents. Wallace uses hanging sentences to show that the story is horrifying. He uses complex, simple and compound sentences to break monotony. The reader enjoys reading the text because sentences are well mixed. The door serves two purposes.
One, it shows that it is an entrance to any place. It is the only legal opening for accessing heaven. In this regard, it symbolizes the conduit used in accessing a place. In the second sense, it is used stylistically to show the nature of the story. The story is hanging meaning that it does not end. The reader is left asking him or herself some questions because it is not revealed whether the child survived. This kind of style is used in order to challenge the reader to delve deep to uncover the remaining part of the story (Williams 78).
Wallace does not care about explaining the accident when narrating the actions of the father because he was not responsible for taking care of the toddler. The writer could have assumed that women are responsible for taking care of their young ones. The father or male counterparts only intervene during trouble. This could be the main reason why the writer did not mention the father while giving his actions. Voice represents the character of the writer or style.
The writer in the text uses second person voice, which is usually used to teach or guide the reader through a particular process. The writer is sympathetic because he insists that an individual can easily cry provided he/she has a child. A person can only cry if he/she is sympathetic. Parents cry out of sympathy because they feel offended when their children undergo difficulties in life (Fawcett 90).
The toddler has expectations placed upon him after it grows up. Children are expected to behave in an orderly manner after they mature. Children should follow societal regulations because sanctions are slapped to non-conformers. The phrase ‘and saw the state of what was there’ could mean the condition caused by hot water. The baby could have burned badly because the mother nearly fainted. The mother prayed God to take care of things meaning that the damage caused to the baby was serious.
The baby could have died because it stopped crying. The phrase ‘and lived its life untenanted’ may perhaps signify the miserable life experienced by the toddler. Untenanted life means an empty life or deserted life, which does not have anything good out of it. This is an evidence showing that the child could have died. The story is neither metaphoric nor spiritual but it is real. Children face problems in the course of their growth mainly because they do not have advanced ways of communicating ideas (Dillon 56).
The title ‘incarnation of burned children’ means the Christian principle of the unification of God and man in the person of Jesus. This means that children die after experiencing serious burns. As earlier stated, children are helpless because they cannot explain what happens to them. Once faced with a problem, such as the one narrated in the text, they only wait for well-wishers to guise what could be going on. In this process, they end up meeting tragedies that include death. The story can be recommended to other readers wishing to gain knowledge as regards to child caring (Scholes and Comley 101).
The story is interesting because it defines feelings of women and men. The writer shows that women are more emotional while men can resist temptations that can hinder response to an event. Furthermore, the story presents an interesting writing style because the writer is incisive and persuasive. He ensures that the reader follows up his story. He uses several techniques such as similes, metaphors and personification. The story is more interesting because of the way sentences are arranged. The writer knows how to combine simple, complex and compound sentences in a paragraph (Polking 17).
Comer, James. Beyond Black and White. New York: Quadrangle Books, 1972.
Dillon, David. Writing: Experience and Expression. Massachusetts: Heath and Company, 1976.
Fawcett, Susan. Evergreen: A Guide to Writing with Readings. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
Kazin, Alfred. A Walker in the City. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1951.
Polking, Kirk. Writing A to Z. New York: Writer’s Digest Books, 1990.
Rozakis, Laurie. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grammar and Style. 2nd ed. London: Alpha, 2003.
Scholes, Robert and Nancy Comley. The Practice of Writing. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985.
Stubbs, Marcia and Sylvan Barnet. The Little Brown Reader. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977.
Whyte, William. City: Rediscovering the Center. New York: Doubleday, 1988.
Williams, Joseph. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. Pearson Longman, 2007.
This critical writing on “Girl” a Novel by Jamaica Kincaid was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
“The Great Grandfather of the Sandalwood Mountains” by Kingston Essay
Updated: Feb 5th, 2021
Playwrights and filmmakers employ several literary devices in their endeavor to put across their messages successfully to their intended audience. However, the choice of the devices significantly determines the quality of the message. In many occasions, novelists embark on the use of themes as the most efficient way of communicating to their audiences. Kingston, an epitome of such writers strategically allocates different roles to her different characters in her presenting of the theme of enforced silence as vivid as it stands in her narrative ‘The Great Grandfather of the Sandalwood Mountains’.
The essay opens with Kingston speaking in her first person ‘I’ but ends with her third person as she gives a detailed account of her great grandfather’s bio. The change, as expressed in the essay, successfully drives home her experience as a Filipino-American, which the reader would otherwise have failed to understand if presented in her first person. Therefore, as the paper unfolds, the essay features several instances, which depict the theme of enforced silence where the narrator or the characters have to let go of their first person speeches, hence the imposed silence, which on the other hand has its corresponding consequences still addressed in the paper.
The way the story opens with Kingston reading the contents of a letter from her uncle contributes towards the development of the theme. The reader can interpret the issue of the letter from two angles both of which constitute the theme. Firstly, a character going through a period of enforced silence cannot air out his views and if he has to, he/she must do so as if addressing the views of another person. The author, through the way she presents the letter passes for such a character. She presents her views in the name of her uncle. In fact, he says, “you have disrupted the economy and technology of the commune” (Kingston 86).
The reader, through these words realizes clearly the reason why the narrator gives the story from the point of view of another person. She feels guilty of having interfered with the economy and technology and thus fearing the consequences associated with the issue. She says, “I won’t tell the name of our village. I don’t want anybody arresting my uncle” (Kingston 86). In other words, she cannot present the story as her own failure to which she will face the penalty of arrest subjected to those who interfere with technology and economy, hence the enforced silence.
Secondly, the narrator intentionally enforces silence to her uncle thereby choosing to talk on his behalf by reading what he says through the letter. The uncle has to communicate through letters and not verbally after having interfered with a Chinese bicycle. In fact, the narrator cannot even dare reveal her village; leave alone the uncle, since she fears that he might disappear if the Chinese men get hold of him. Kingston’s story of her great grandfather reveals the reason behind the silence of majority of Chinese concerning their history.
Another instance of enforced silence stands out from Kingston’s account of her great grand father’s experience as workers in the Hawaii sugar estates. The managers forced old men like her great grandfather to remain silent while working in the plantations. In fact, the bosses had a rule for the workers to “mind your own business and work like an ox” (Kingston 99). The simile of working like oxen clarifies that they could not talk just as oxen work silently.
The rule, as Kingston puts it, was not work friendly since the workers referred to it as ‘absurd’. The grandfather says, “I wasn’t born to be silent like a monk…if I knew I had to take a vow of silence…I would have shaved off my hair and become a monk” (Kingston 100). Further, in illustrating how the rule seemed harsh to the workers, the narrator reveals the many things that the workers wished to air out given the chance though they could not manage.
Kingston uses the words ‘he wanted to say’ repeatedly like the case of the grandfather who, despite the withstanding of the hours “…wanted to talk about how he sawed through the trunks and…had all kinds of things to say” (Kingston 100) though he could not because of the enforced silence.
Highlighting further the theme of enforced silence, the author brings to light the hide-seek game played to the workers in the sugar plantation. In fact, Bak Goong, one of the work forces observes a certain policy in the contract suggesting that they will not get their pay after working. The clause seems to present the workers as no more than slaves who will just work for no pay but food. However, the workers seem unaware of the clause.
Therefore, when the time to request their pay comes, Bak Goong receives the pay but realizes that his boss has deducted some amount unexpected by the workers. Upon complaining about the issue, the boss interrupts in a stern voice saying, “Shut up you…you shut up” (Kingston 102). The workers have nothing but to heed to the words of the Chinese accountant. In other words, they have to remain silent no matter what or when to get their full pay. The greedy accountant excuses himself by telling them that the pay will go up soon after the estate produces big returns. When and how this will happen, based on the workers’ evident efforts, remains unknown to them since the rules seem so harsh to them that none can afford to follow up the issue and hence the enforced silence.
Too much of everything is poisonous and the excess enforced silence is not an exception as the narrative unveils. The workers led by Bak Goong seem much oppressed wishing to free them from the bondage of too much silence, which according to them will make the work easier than before. In fact, the narrator points out, “It wasn’t right that Mr. Bak Goong had to save his talking…when stories would have made the work easier” (Kingston 114).
The words mark the dawn of freedom for the workers. They have realized their duty to claim the rights denied to them by their bosses despite the ‘moneyless’ job that leaves them ‘bodiless’ as Bak Goong’s wife puts it. Therefore, the enforced silence has fuelled the worker’s realization that they are actually living a life that seems strange and intolerable. Bak Goong’s wife confirms the workers’ need to restore their dignity. She tells his husband, “Go back where you belong. Go now” (Kingston 115).
The succeeding words feature no more than a bold step that the husband takes on behalf of the rest. He wakes up convinced that he has to cure himself by exercising his right of speaking any time and to any person of his choice. In fact, he presents the realization to the rest: uncles, brother among other workers, telling them that he has come up with the cure of their long sickness. “It is a congestion of not talking. What we have to do is talk and talk” (Kingston 115).
However, the reader may wish to know whether the talking is a consequence of enforced silence. The narrative narrows down to the workers’ reaction following the imposed silence. Bak Goong, who assumes the position of the ringleader, assembles the worker to deliver a story that he says cannot escape mentioning. In fact, Bak Goong says, “I’m coming home by and by…I want to be home” (Kingston 117).
The silence seems to have separated the workers from their beloved homes, where ‘home’ symbolizes liberation where one is free; not only to interact with others, but also to speak based on his/her desires. The story ends with the men in a shout party after Bak Goong’s awakening story where they shouted and buried the words in the soil to symbolize how they wished to see the oppression dead and buried just like seeds die in the soil thereby bringing forth new seedlings. Kingston puts it, “Soon the new green shoots would rise, and when in two years the cane grew gold tassels, what stories the wind would tell” (118).
As the adage goes, ‘Every experience is an opportunity to learn not just a lesson but a good lesson’. The Chinese men seem to have learned much from the oppression. Had it not been for it, they would not have realized the need to fight for their rights, which otherwise would imply a continued oppression and hence the theme of enforced silence.
Kingston, Maxine. The Great Grandfather of the Sandalwood Mountains. New York: Vintage International, 1989.
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Setting and Storytelling in Chopin’s “The Storm” Essay
Updated: Jan 16th, 2021
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how Chopin expertly used setting – an element of fiction – to enhance the storytelling process. Chopin could have straightforwardly told the story but it would have lacked the power and therefore less effective. It was interesting to discover during the study that the setting did not only provide a backdrop but also help develop the story. Furthermore, Chopin was able to present a complex and multi-layered setting. She did not only talk about the French-inspired custom and culture of the place but she placed a gathering storm amid the story.
The process was enjoyable but not without difficulty. The most challenging part is ho to completely comprehend the meaning of the statements that were made because there was a boy talking gibberish and his father doing the baby talk and finally the characters used words that seem only understandable if one is a native of that place. Nevertheless, one has to realize that Chopin has presented an authentic picture and in so doing the characters came alive.
The strength of the paper can be seen in how the setting, as an element of fiction was clearly explained. However, if given the chance to revise the paper it would be better to write more about the multiple purposes and different meanings of the “storm” because there seems to be more about it other than the fact that it was used as a tool to force Alcee and Calixta to come together. The writer’s experience with storms allows for a better understanding as to why people are forced to take shelter and why it is wiser to stay indoors and wait out for the rain and the wind to stop.
The setting allowed the reader to be transported to 19th century America, in a location heavily influenced by the French. But more than that the setting explains why husband and wife were separated and why the husband was forced to wait out the storm. Bobinot had Bibi with him and therefore he could not risk the short journey back to his house. The storm did not only bring rain but there were thunder strikes with a booming sound and a deadly aim that made the people thought the ground shook with every burst of the thunderclap.
The setting explains why Calixta was home and why she was alone. Normally, there is a hired help that comes along to give her assistance with household chores but on this particular day, the author said that she had no one with her. The setting describes the humid weather just before the storm hits and explains why she had to unfastened her “sacque” exposing her breast (Chopin, p.1). The setting also helps clarify why Calixta was so preoccupied with her work that she did not notice the incoming bad weather as well as the approaching Alcee.
The setting tells the reader that it was in the afternoon therefore when the storm clouds gathered it was easy to block off the remaining light and created the effect as if it was dusk. The pounding rain however did not only muffle the sound of the creatures –both human and animals but it also obscured vision. It was extremely difficult for neighbors to see the silhouette of each other’s houses and therefore it was impossible to see what was happening behind the windowpanes. In other words, it isolated the houses from neighbors and prying eyes.
The storm did not only affect visibility but it created a mild fear in the hearts of the inhabitants of that small town that no one dared venture outside their homes. Their thoughts were preoccupied only with one thing; for those who are outside they needed shelter and for those who are inside their homes they prayed for the storm to stop its raging. But for Alcee and Calixta the setting, specifically, the storm gave them the excuse to stay indoors.
The rain, the thunderclap, and the sudden feeling of dread forced ex-lovers to embrace each other once again. As a result, the setting was not only used as a backdrop but Chopin used it as a force to move her characters and compelled them to do something that they would not have done without the elements found in the setting. They fell in love with each other and decided to pursue an illicit affair and the storm was their cover.
They believe that they will not be found out because Bobinot will never be able to come home early, not with Bibi in tow. The mud and the water were obstacles that even her husband could not overcome. Even if Sylvi suddenly developed the urge to come and visit and help Calixta she would not be able to do so because of the fierceness of the storm. It allowed Calixta and Alcee to start a forbidden love affair. The setting provided clues as to why Alcee can roam the countryside without a wife who will be worried about his long absence and since Alcee’s wife is far away he need not explain why it took him a long time to get home.
Before going any further, the setting revealed a kind of atmosphere that could easily create a dull and boring existence. This rural setting provided little distraction and the distance from one house to the next can easily make one lonely. The setting greatly assisted Chopin in her characterization of Bobinot, Calixta, and Alcee. For example, the storm created rain and also thick mud that stick to the clothes of Bobinot and Bibi. Because of the mud and their dirty appearance, it revealed a weakness in Bobinot’s character. Chopin said that he even went through the backdoor to evade the judging eyes of his wife. As a result, the reader is given a clue why Calixta may have found Alcee exciting and committed adultery with him.
Chopin expertly used the setting to create a powerful short story. The brilliance of Chopin is not only seen in the creation of a believable world that gave her characters the freedom to do what they were supposed to do in accordance to the plot of the story but it also became a force that compelled them to action. The most important component of the setting was the storm. The sound, the intense light, and the fear it generated provided a backdrop as to why the characters were forced to be in one particular location at a given time. Thus, a few hours before dinnertime, Bobinot and Bibi were trapped inside Friedheimer’s store while Calixta was trapped within the arms of a lover. The storm gave them cover to commit adultery but the storm also had a double meaning – it also means that from that time forward there will be a storm in their respective marriages.
Chopin, Kate. The Storm. 1898.
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Poe’s “The Masque of Red Death” as a Gothic Story Essay
Updated: Nov 30th, 2020
Edgar Allan Poe is famous for his Gothic-style writing, the vast number of sinister elements that make up a perfect spine-tingling effect. Poe authored many poems and short stories, each of which is a masterpiece in itself, having an engaging storyline and impressing the audience with various stylistic devices. The present paper will focus on analyzing the short story “The Masque of Red Death” and the style that the author employed while composing it. The paper argues that the story is a shining example of Gothic writing due to the perfectly made word choice and creating a single effect throughout the narration.
Poe’s writing style in the story selected for close reading is somewhat sinister and rich in stylistic devices. Every paragraph of the narration clarifies the author’s intention to arouse feelings of apprehension and fear in his readers. The succession of these paragraphs makes the whole idea of the story finished and indicates the storyline’s threatening character. Probably the best explanation of these feelings is offered by Poe himself in such a stylistic device as anticlimax employed when describing the reaction of Prince Prospero’s guests to the masked figure: “there arose… a buzz, or murmur, expressive of… terror, horror, and of disgust” (Poe 665). Poe’s way of writing may also be considered as mysterious. This feature is reflected in the description of the “masked figure which had arrested the attention of no single individual before” (Poe 664-665). The author provides a detailed portrayal of the figure, and later it appears to have been only the object of people’s imagination.
When explaining how the narrator relates the story, it is impossible not to mention the abundant use of inversion, the instances of which create a peculiar effect, and emphasize the actions rather than actors. Such a focus draws the readers’ attention to the events and keeps them in suspense about what is about to happen next. Although the “deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys” seems to promise Prince Prospero’s friends the shield from the “Red Death,” it becomes obvious from the context that something tragic is going to change these people’s lives soon (Poe 662). The inverted word order is particularly powerful in describing the castle’s formidability and the impossibility of the “Red Death” to enter it. The castle had “buffoons, … improvisatori, … ballet-dancers, … musicians, … Beauty, … wine,” all of which “and security were within” (Poe 262). Immediately after this, Poe writes, “Without was the “Red Death” (262). This structure captures the attention and pushes to the conclusion that there is some faulty hope and some intangible danger because it sounds too self-assured.
Apart from the storyline, another aspect makes “The Masque of Red Death” so impressive ─ the unique tone and numerous stylistic devices employed by the author. The major effect, as has been mentioned, is produced by inversion. However, there are many other methods of making the story captivating. For instance, the use of alliteration and assonance gives the narration some peculiar sense of rhythm. The cases of repetition, metaphor, simile, synecdoche, personification, allusion, climax, and polysyndeton and the abundant use of epithets and synonyms make the story interesting to read and create a vivid picture of the events described.
The following stylistic and lexical devices have been identified in the narration:
- alliteration: “scarlet stains,” “Prince Prospero,” “such suites,” “bearing a brazier” (Poe 662), “giddiest grew,” “light laughter” (Poe 663), “disregarded the decora,” “followers felt,” “glare and glitter,” “sunk into silence” (Poe 664), “broad brow,” “slow and solemn,” “stately step,” “prince’s person” (Poe 665), “drawn dagger,” “dagger dropped” (Poe 666);
- assonance: “massy hammers,” “leave means,” “abbey was amply,” “precautions the courtiers,” “Red Death” (Poe 662), “sable drapery” (Poe 664), “tall and gaunt” (Poe 665), “rage and the shame,” “rushed hurriedly,” “deadly terror” (Poe 666);
- personification: “a closed corridor which pursued the windings,” “lungs of the clock” (Poe 663), “Time that flies,” “conceptions glowed,” “there stalked… a multitude of dreams,” “music swells,” “dreams live” (Poe 664);
- metaphor: “brazen lungs of the clock” (Poe 663);
- simile: “He had come like a thief in the night” (Poe 666);
- synecdoche: “his brow reddened with rage” (Poe 665) instead of “he reddened”;
- allusion and hyperbole: “the figure… had out-Heroded Herod” (Poe 665);
- repetition (framing): “Blood was its Avatar and its seal — the redness and the horror of blood” (Poe 662);
- climax: “seizure, progress, and termination of the disease” (Poe 662);
- polysyndeton: “happy and dauntless and sagacious” (Poe 662), “clear and loud and deep and exceedingly musical” (Poe 663), “disconcert and tremulousness and meditation,” “glare and glitter and piquancy and phantasm” (Poe 664);
- epithets: “scarlet stains,” “magnificent structure,” “august taste” (Poe 662), “barbaric lustre” (Poe 664), “solemn movement” (Poe 665);
- synonyms: “color / hue,” “chamber / extremity / apartment / suite,” “ornaments / tapestries / decorations,” “windows / casements / panes,” “lamp / candelabrum / fire / candle / light” (Poe 663).
While the whole story attracts attention and sounds exciting, several passages strike the reader as particularly important. The first of them is at the beginning of the narration, and it describes the castle in which Prince Prospero is planning to escape death (Poe 662). The second revealing moment is when the author portrays the gigantic clock and the effect its chiming produces on the prince’s guests (Poe 663-664). Finally, the last passage that is particularly significant is the scene of Prospero’s death (Poe 666). All of these moments have in common is their relation to realizing the impossibility to run away from death.
The author, as if mocks the prince and his guests in the beginning, describing the “gates of iron,” the process of welding the bolts, the ample provision, and the absence of the need to “grieve, or to think” (Poe 662). The first realization of the imminent death occurs when the clock strikes: even “the giddiest grew pale” (Poe 663). In the end, “was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death” (Poe 666). The author shows that no matter how hard one tries to escape the end of one’s life, there is nothing to be done.
Poe’s “The Masque of Red Death” is indeed a shining example of a Gothic story due to many aspects. There is a variety of stylistic and lexical devices, making the narration engaging and intriguing. The narrator’s tone keeps the reader in suspense, and vividly describes all people, events, feelings, and apprehensions. The single effect of the narration and the exuberant choice of words add to the general impression of the story’s greatness. “The Masque of Red Death” offers a crucial issue to consider reflected through the exquisite tone and style.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Masque of Red Death.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature, edited by Robert S. Levine. Vol. 1, W. W. Norton & Company, 2017, pp. 662-666.
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Dialogues in O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Essay (Critical Writing)
Updated: Nov 24th, 2020
The following analysis will be about the dialogue aspect of the narrative technique used by Flannery O’Connor in her short story A Good Man is Hard to Find and how it contributes to the story and its meaning. As the story abounds in numerous dialogue lines, it is particularly important to understand the sheer impact of dialogues on the perception of the story by readers.
The dialogue aspect of A Good Man is Hard to Find is the story’s key component for delivering the characters’ thoughts, their personalities, their points of view on the events described in the story, and, ultimately, for creating impressions of readers about each character. Therefore, the importance of dialogues to the story will be explained by analyzing certain significant quotes and indicating their contribution to the delivering of the story’s main ideas.
The nature of the Grandmother’s personality is already suggested in the very first pages of the story. When John Wesley asked the Grandmother why she would not stay home if she did not really want to go to Florida, little June Star said: “She wouldn’t stay at home for a million bucks. Afraid she’d miss something. She has to go everywhere we go.” (O’Connor 137). June’s depiction of the Grandmother was rather crude, but, at the same time, it was accurate.
Old-fashioned and dreamy, the old lady has further proved to match that depiction during the conversation with the kids in the car. “Let’s go through Georgia fast so we won’t have to look at it much,” said John Wesley during the trip (O’Connor 139). The grandmother answered: “If I were a little boy, I wouldn’t talk about my native state that way. Tennessee has the mountains, and Georgia has the hills.” (O’Connor 139). Just from these lines, we can get the idea of a certain confrontation between the old and new views on things.
The Grandmother still lived mentally in the old times, where, according to her, people were better – they were nicer and more respectful. However, she still seemed to believe in the existence of good people. When Red Sammy asked her about why he had let the two fellers charge the gas they bought the previous week, she responded: “Because you’re a good man!” (O’Connor 142). The Grandmother’s reminiscences of the past and the desire for reunification with them led to a car crash. “We’ve had an ACCIDENT!” the children shouted (O’Connor 145).
“But nobody’s killed,” June Star disappointedly said, looking at the Grandmother getting out of the car (O’Connor 145). These particular lines indicate the strained relationship between the children and the Grandmother. Probably the most important part of the story is the dialogue between the Misfit and the Grandmother. “Well then, why don’t you pray?” she said while trembling (O’Connor 150). The Misfit’s response was filled with self-confidence: “I don’t want no help. I’m doing all right by myself.” (O’Connor 151) Both characters’ specific traits of personality are discovered during that dialogue.
The Grandmother does not want to believe in the Misfit’s murderous nature; she still sees a good man in him. On the other hand, the Misfit embraces the changes in his personal views of things, even though he does not deny he was indeed a good person once. The final words of the Grandmother to the Misfit can be defined as the moment of grace, which apparently affects him in the end; she cried: “Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children!” (O’Connor 152).
O’Connor’s abundant usage of dialogues in the story is justified by its amazing ability to deliver all feelings, all emotions, and all main ideas of the story. They serve as the primary tools for reaching the readers so that they can fully understand every character. Dialogues are also the main indicators of relationship specifics between each character in the story.
O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Collected Works. New York, NY: Library of America, 1988. 137-153. Print.
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