Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A View of the Woods :: View of the Woods Essays

A View of the Woods Flannery O'Connor is a very complex writer in terms of her use of symbolism in addition to the elements of the grotesque and blackly humorous. O'Connor’s story, "A View of the Woods," is symbolically complicated. The story focuses on the relationship of Mary Fortune Pitts, a little girl, and her grandfather, Mr Fortune. The story is one of conflict that mounts to tragedy in the end. The conflict is basically between Mary Fortune and her grandfather over the sale of some ground that Mary Fortune finds important for her father's grazing of his cattle and for the view of the woods. You might look carefully at the woods in this story because they assume a symbolic significance similar to the woods in "Greenleaf." In many ways I think the woods can be seen as the Garden of Eden. When they are sold, they are sold to a man called Tilman, and he is represented as a serpent: Tilman was a man of quick action and few words. He sat habitually with his arms folded on the counter and his insignificant head weaving snake-fashion above them. He had a triangular-shaped face with the point at the bottom and the top of his skull was covered with a cap of freckles. His eyes were green and very narrow and his tongue was always exposed in his partly opened mouth. He had his chequebook handy and they got down to business at once. It did not take him long to look at the deed and sign the bill of sale and Mr Fortune signed it and they grasped hands over the counter. (76) The idea here would appear to be that in selling the land to Tilman, Mr Fortune is actually handing the Garden of Eden over to the control of the serpent. There is a lot made of their respective surnames earlier in the story, when the little girl and the grandfather are actually arguing over the land, and this supports this particular reading: She turned and looked him straight in the face and said with a slow concentrated ferocity, "It's the lawn. My Daddy grazes his calves there. We won't be able to see the woods any more." The old man held his fury as long as he could. "He beats you!" he shouted. "And you worry about where he's going to graze his calves!"

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