O’Connor’s usage of setting to forecast the result in “A Great Male is Hard to Find”
The depiction of the household’s surroundings while driving through Georgia provides lots of tips to their terrible deaths. Initially it seems the O’Connor is simply supplying vibrant descriptions of the land, however continuing through the story one begins to understand a continuous style within the setting. While driving the family “passed a large cotton field with five or six graves fenced the middle of it, like a small island” (660 ). What makes this passage so significant is the reality that there are six individuals taking a trip in the cars and truck, insinuating that the family will likewise wind up in tombs.
As if this was not a huge enough of a hint, in the future in their journeys the granny remembers an old plantation that she had actually visited in the area of “Toombsboro” (662 ). Upon hearing this location, the word tomb comes to mind, symbolising death. It is also interesting that she thinks that the old plantation is in this particular town, given that her wishing to go to your house is initially what causes the household’s unforeseen end. The run down atmosphere at Red Sammy’s provides the reader an eerie and ominous sensation of what is to wind up of the family.
The first little bit of description that is offered about Red Sammy’s is that it is a tower. Towers are viewed as being large and intimidating, and within is referred to as being “a long dark room” (661 ). This gives the impression of Red Sammy’s as being dark, run down, empty, and disregarded. This impression is then strengthened by June Star, saying that she “wouldn’t reside in a broken down location like this for a million bucks!” (661 ). Everything about this location is diminished. Even Red Sammy’s automobile, which he is seen repairing upon their arrival, is broken.
This provides a foreshadowing to the family’s car, which will likewise soon break down after their mishap. The color red is likewise raised, in Red Sammy’s name, bringing to mind what the colour red symbolizes, such things as fire, blood, death, and the devil. Even Red Sammy’s spouse is described as being a “tall burnt-brown lady” (661 ), the word burnt bringing to mind fire and hell. The tower might be compared to “Dante’s Inferno” and it seems quite fitting that this is the last stop the family makes prior to their deaths.
The description of the deserted road the family takes a trip on provides a number of hints to hint that this roadway remains in reality the roadway to their deaths. It is really symbolic how the family turns off the efficiently paved, hectic highway onto a deserted road. O’Connor supplies a really brilliant description of the roadway, stating that it “was uneven and there were abrupt washes in it and sharp curves on unsafe embankments. Simultaneously they would be on a hill, looking down over the blue tops of trees for miles around, then the next minute, they would be in a red anxiety with the dust-coated trees looking down on them” (663 ).
This passage consists of numerous key words and hints. The sharp curves and unsafe embankments give a sense of forewarning that they are traveling in a very dangerous area that is not safe. The word red anxiety evokes the sensations of blood (red) and sadness/grief (depression). Likewise, completion of the passage talking about the trees looking down on them is extremely substantial. For one, the trees represent the woods, which is where all of the household other than for the grandma end up passing away, and the reality that they are looking down on them offers the impression that they are intimidating and frightening.
Also, the trees might in fact be a symbol for the Misfit and his helpers, who will soon be looking down at them from above the ditch. The ditch is a huge sign of a tomb, and it is suitable that they end up in a ditch a number of times in the story prior to they are shot, such as when the mom took a seat in a “red-gutted ditch” (663) and when they all “sat down in the ditch” (664 ). More recommendation to the woods include when O’Connor describes them as being “tall and dark and deep” (664) and that the “woods gaped like a dark open mouth” (665) signifying that the woods will “swallow” them and that they are the “mouth of death”.
Although the setting is utilized as a means of predicting the ending it is likewise utilized as a way to reveal the theme of the story; that the lines between excellent and wicked are not so obvious, and that we each ultimately get our chance at redemption and redemption. O’Connor uses the weather as a method to do so. At the starting the day is referred to as being “neither too hot nor too cold” (659) and the Misfit himself specifies that he “don’t see no sun but don’t see no cloud either” (665 ). This is symbolic to reveal part of O’Connor’s theme, that the distinction in between good and evil is blurred.
It is not black and white of who is great and who is evil, that actually, everybody is both. The Grandma through the majority of the story is racist, self-centered, manipulative, and a hypocrite. Yet when faced with death, she redeems herself by truthfully connecting to the Misfit. Therefore showing excellent and evil qualities. Although the misfit is clearly wicked, being a serial killer and not taking his possibility to redeem himself (which would have been conserving the granny), he still shows some indications of being human, such as having a real reasoning behind his actions, his voice breaking, and telling Bobby Lee that “It’s no genuine enjoyment in life. “