An Analysis of “Grotesques” in Flannery O’Conn’s “Good Country People”毕业论文_英语毕业论文

An Analysis of “Grotesques” in Flannery O’Conn’s “Good Country People”毕业论文

2021-04-07更新

摘 要

弗兰纳里·奥康纳是一位以畸形人物创作而著名的美国南方女作家,此类作品中,她的短篇小说最具典范,尤其是《善良的乡下人》。本篇论文将系统地分析该小说中独特的四位畸人形象,探讨作者是如何利用畸人这一特性来揭示小说主题,了解其创作意图是唤醒国人,展示美国南方社会精神幻灭的荒原景象。

关键词: 弗兰纳里·奥康纳;《善良的乡下人》;畸人

Contents

⒈ Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………….1

⒉ Demonstration ……………………………………………………………………………………2

⒉⒈ Grotesque Manley Pointer: an alienated, weird intruder ………………………2

⒉⒈⒈ A “devout” Christian, “good” country man……………………………………..3

⒉⒈⒉ Having an abnormal indulgence — collecting interesting things………….4

⒉⒉ Grotesque Joy: a deformed and cocky Doctor of Philosophy………………….5

⒉⒉⒈ Physical disabilities of Joy……………………………………………………………..6

⒉⒉⒉ Mental disabilities of Joy………………………………………………………………..7

⒉⒊ Grotesque Mrs. Hopewell: a misfit of the Southern lady………………………..8

⒉⒊⒈ A “good” Christian, “kind-hearted” lady…………………………………………..8

⒉⒊⒉ A childish, self-righteous farm owner……………………………………………….9

⒉⒋ Grotesque Mrs. Freeman: a vulgar, ignoble, evil country woman……………10

⒉⒋⒈ A hypocritical village woman………………………………………………………….10

⒉⒋⒉ A hypocritical religious believer………………………………………………………11

⒊ Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………11

Notes…………………………………………………………………………………………………………13

Works Cited……………………………………………………………………………………………….14

Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………………….15

“Grotesques” in Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People”

1. Introduction

Mary Flannery O’Connor, a famous South American female writer, is noted for the writing of “grotesques”, which can be typically found in one of her short story “Good Country People”. Recently, more and more research has been done on her works, from several perspectives, such as the description of violence and death, original sin, the Gothic devices, and so on. Just as Baumbach, Jonathan’s The Acid of God’s Grace: the Fiction of Flannery O’Connor(1963), Shinn, Thelma J’s Flannery O’Connor and the Violence of Grace (1968), Schleifer, Ronald’s Rural Gothic: The Stories of Flannery O’Connor (1982). Now, compared with the hot research on O’Connor’s works abroad, domestic research on O’Connor has entered a new stage. There are a few studies about Flannery O’Connor. For example, Kang Jianxiu does his research from the perspective of the female characters in O’Connor’s works (1998:70-72), Fang Hanquan’s paper “Comedy and Violence, Violence and Death, Death and Salvation” (2002:62-67), and Shi Yunlong contributes an essay entitled “On the ‘Grotesqueness’ of Flannery O’Connor’s Fiction” (2001:30-32). Shi Yunlong’s essay has aroused the growing people pay attention to the grotesques of Flannery O’Connor’s fiction.

As a writer in Southern America, O’Connor knows where her strength lies, thus choosing to depict a distorted world with grotesque figures. She usually reveals the reality of post-war American South, in a unique and grotesque way, to alert and awaken modern numb country people. She can grasp grotesqueness of every modern man, and claims that “we’re all grotesque” (Mullins, 1963:33).

As an important term of literary expression, “grotesque” has been defined in various ways. Thomson put in this way:

Where previous ages relegated it to the cruder species of the comic, the present tendency is to view the grotesque as a fundamentally ambivalent thing, as a violent clash of opposites, as an appropriate expression of the problematical nature of existence. (11)

As O’Connor herself said, it is the duty of a writer “… to find the distortions in modern life which is the most repugnant and then make them apparent to the reader who might consider them natural and normal” (33). She, therefore, applies the full range of the grotesque in her works, which, to a large extent, is a good method to describe the abnormal world. Following Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne and William Faulkner, O’Connor is skilled in portraying the grotesque, as Hugh Holman comments, “The Southern grotesque is kept alive in the 1980s by Bobbie Ann Manson. Manson’s grotesque is grandchild of the grotesques as described and practiced by Flannery O’Connor” (135).

Domestic and foreign critics have approached O’Connor’s novels from various perspectives, especially the comparative analysis of the grotesques in O’ Conner’s stories. For example, Fu Jingchuan has issued several articles concerning the grotesque and religious elements in O’Connor’s works. However, grotesques in “Good Country People”, one of O’Connor’s representative short stories, haven’t been paid much attention. Therefore, this thesis will discuss systematically four grotesque figures in “Good Country People” in four chapters, respectively, Manley Pointer, Joy, Mrs. Hopewell, and Freeman. Each chapter will be devoted to a detailed study of how the writer depicts these grotesques in different ways, which not only adds much aesthetic charm to the story, but help reveal O’Connor’s efforts of reconstruction of the western modern civilization.

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