O’Connor likes to use images of creatures in her characters to draw the attention of animalistic characteristic in them. Similar to animals these figures do reflect about their past events and life. Grandmother herself is full of the past, in some instance, we hear her reflecting on her past value, sentiments, and courtships. She never at any time touch on morally questionable factors of her early life. She comes from a background that is similar to those who own plantations or at least share the same experience.
Coming from a family of slave owners, she did carry some moral weight to be resolved, but she does not go beyond her sentimentality. She remembers where she could sit with her suitor after strolling around the garden and loses herself when she hears the sweet “Tennessee Waltz” playing, and she says that the tune always made her desire dance. The fatal trip is incited because the grandmother wanted to check on an old plantation house she had visited once and see if the arbors were still there. She has a past that is full of trouble, and her sentimentality protects this uncomfortable reality. The history can be frightening because it comes with the responsibility of change, but she engages it in a meaningful way but instead takes her moral baggage as a monkey treating his fleas, biting each one carefully in his teeth the same case you would do a delicacy, at Red Sammy Butts Restaurant.
The animalistic traits in our characters manifest in that they do not keep in mind the meaning and principles of their actions. The father puts on a shirt with an image of a parrot, which can imitate the words but does not understand the meaning. Despite being similar in form to the actual meaning, it still makes a plain statement because it does not grasp the hidden meaning, it’s just a formal likeness. The same way, the characters operate with no moral or intellectual principal only acting like animals towards immediate pleasure.
Mary Grace was reading a book called Human Development which is a psychology text often used in a psychology class in college. O’Connor use of it in the story is ironic. Mary Grace is suffering from emotional instability and reacts contrary to the calm manner in which her mother was to the hypocrisy and prejudice that is being portrayed by Mrs. Turpin. She throws the book at Mrs. Turpin after cracking and then physically attacking her. After being subdued, Mrs. Turpin suspects that the girl had a message for her, she moves closer, and she is called a warthog and that she should go back to hell where she came from.
Flannery O’Connor believed in religion and its power to give life a new purpose. She also felt the presence of God, and her fictions allegorically portray characters who find themselves transforming to the catholic mind and even though the protagonist Mrs. Turpin. The author also seems to suggest that Mrs. Turpin religious hypocrisy is not helping her especially when she addresses people as dirty,” ugly,’ white-trash,’ nigger’ demonstrates it.
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