Essay - Grotesque Characters Characters in Fiction Generally Reflect Aspects of the...

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Grotesque Characters

Characters in fiction generally reflect aspects of the human condition and so are drawn as realistically as possible. Even **********, *****me characters can be characterized as grotesque because of their behavior or some unusual feature that sets them apart. Grotesque ***** can serve several different purposes and can differentiate writers and their w*****ks more completely, ***** ***** be seen with reference to such characters in works such as Eudora Welty's "Petrified Man," Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People," and William Faulkner's "Barn Burning."

As it happens, the ***** in all three stories can be seen ***** convey*****g local color to ***** reader ***** as representing a partial view of a segment of the country, and in all three cases, ***** part of ***** country is the South. Th***** does not mean that grotesque characters are associated only ***** the *****, for they are not. Such characters serve to illustrate a particular vision of the South in these three stories, though, and also suggest a certain heightened treatment ***** character ***** narrative in order to convey a *****e.

Good Country People" is a story infused w*****h the tension between body and mind, the physical and the spiritual. Flannery O'Connor presents th***** tension in ***** context of an almost *****egorical structure. As with many ***** her stories, "Good Country People" takes place in a world that is cruel, where human beings inflict damage on one another almost as a m*****tter of course. The world O'Connor creates in her ***** ***** ***** ***** the conflict between m*****d and body is *****ten bloody and may border on the grotesque, and in ***** stories the plot and theme unfolds in a world ***** mythological power and significance. ***** theme of aband*****ment ***** strong in "Good Country People" and re**********ces the idea that ***** mind actually separates us from the ***** around us so ***** no matter what connections we might make with that world, ultimately we ***** alone.

In "Good Country People" it is Hulga who is ab*****oned as the Bible salesman runs off with her wooden leg. The tone of ***** abandonment is different in each of ***** ***** because ***** where O'Connor places her emphas***** and where she places the reader ***** terms of the consciousness of the characters. Hulga is ***** central ***** in "***** Country *****," and she is also trying to seduce the salesman, thinking him an innocent, ********** is *****n hoist by her own petard because he is not innocent at all.

***** uses a comic ***** ***** subvert ***** verities in the course of th***** *****. Both Hulga and Pointer have perverted ***** sense of integrity in pursuit ***** false gods. Mrs. Freeman sets the tone of certainty that is *****n perverted in the *****teraction bet*****en Hulga and Pointer. For O'Connor, it would seem ***** the act of selling Bibles is itself a sinful *****, at least as carried forth ***** men like Pointer. They travel around and break every commandment while they make their living from


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