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A View of the Woods
Transcript of A View of the Woods
Her father died when she was fifteen years old to systemic lupus erythematosus.
She was an avid reader and artist.
Attended Georgia State College for Women.
Contributed fiction and essays to the GSCW's literary magazine, the "Corinthian."
Her pieces were satirical and comedic.
Her Roman Catholic faith was reflected in her writing of morality and ethics.
Her "Complete Stories" won the 1972 US National Book Award, which is normally given to living authors. Mary Fortune Pitts
Is part Fortune and part Pitts, although her Grandfather likes to believe that she is all Pitts. Importance of Names Mary Fortune vs. Grandfather Fortune
The most prominent conflict between them is the selling of the lawn.
The next conflict is their physical battle. Mary's grandfather attempted to gain the respect and power that he used to have over Mary. Conflicts Objective Third Person: narrator can only describe words and actions as seen. Point of View Diction Informal for the most part; however, O'Connor does have some formal words within the short story.
Colloquial and slang is used during the dialogue
"Noner yer bidnis," she said and stamped his shoulders with her feet. "Don't be buttin into my bidnis."
Generally uses medium or long and involved sentence length
O'Connor uses repetition for emphasis on Mary. Mary repeats throughout the story two quotes.
"It's the lawn. My daddy grazes his calves there. We won't be able to see the woods anymore."
"Nobody has ever beat me and if anybody tries it, I'll kill him. Fortune
He was more materialistic. He looked at people as how they could help him.
"He didn't have any use for her mother, his third or fourth daughter (he could never remember which), though she considered that she took care of him."
"He liked Mary because of how much she resembled him. "She was...short and broad like himself, with his very light blue eyes, his wide prominent forehead, his steady penetrating scowl and his rich florid complexion..." Setting: the town is unnamed throughout the short story. The only name mentioned was the Fortune Place. It is assumed that it takes place in a rural community before 1968.
The dancing hall "was divided into two sections, Colored and White..." "The red corrugated lake eased up to within fifty feet of the construction and was bordered on the other side by a black line of woods which appeared at both ends of the view to walk across the water and continue along the edge of the fields."
"Her nose and eyes began to run horribly but she held her face rigid and licked the water off as soon as it was in reach of her tongue." Imagery Weather "The weather was as indifferent as her disposition. The sky did not look as if it were going to rain or as if it were not going to rain. It was an unpleasant gray and the sun had not troubled to come out."
"The sky darkened also and there was a hot sluggish tide in the air, the kind felt when a tornado is possible." Similes
"All she had done was jump up and down as if she were standing on a hot stove and make a whimpering noise like a dog that was being peppered."
"He had frequent little verbal tilts with her but this was a sport like putting a mirror up in front of a rooster and watching him fight his reflection." Figurative Language Personification
"...watching the big disembodied gullet gorge itself on the clay, then, with the sound of a deep sustained nausea and a slow mechanical revulsion, turn and spit it up." Metaphors
"...there was a general mutter from that chorus of frogs."
"It was about the size and color of a circus elephant."
"It was as if he were being attacked not by one child but by a pack of small demons all with stout brown school shoes and small rocklike fists." Grandfather Fortune vs. Mr. Pitts
Both of these male figures in Mary's life vie for her attention.
Mary is on her grandfather's side until he tells her that he is going to sell the lawn.
Fortune enjoyed making Pitts upset by selling his lots. "Nothing infuriated Pitts more than to see him sell off a piece of the property to an outsider." There seems to be a tense tone throughout the entire piece. There is never a peaceful moment. The beginning is more calming, but once Fortune decides to sell the lawn, the tone suddenly shifts to anger and rebellion. The tone at the end is morbid. Syntax Dialogue
Lots of commas
Very detailed in her descriptions
Dashes to add extra side notes
"She considered--being careful not to say it, only to look it--that she was the one putting up with him in his old age..."
Words in all caps for emphasis
"Not YET, he hasn't"
"Well I am PURE Fortune" "He knew they were waiting impatiently for the day when they could put him in a hold eight feet deep and cover him up with dirt."
"The Pittses are the kind that would let a cow pasture interfere with the future."
The Pittses are the kind that would let a cow pasture or a mule lot or a row of beans interfere with progress." (also repetition)
"He saw it, in his hallucination, as if someone were wounded behind the woods and the trees were bathed in blood." Foreshadowing Tone Intertextuality "Walk home by yourself. I refuse to ride a Jezebel!"
"And I refuse to ride with the Whore of Babylon."
"All men were created free and equal." Rhetorical Questions "What was the matter with her that she couldn't stand up to Pitts? Why was there this one flaw in her character when he had trained her so well in everything else?" "She respected Pitts because, even with no just cause, he beat her; and if he--with his just cause--did not beat her now, he would have nobody to blame but himself if she turned out a hellion." "He looked around desperately for someone to help him but the place was deserted except for one huge yellow monster which sat to the side, as stationary as he was, gorging itself on clay."