Every story usually has elements of form that help bring out the message that the author has in mind. These elements help shape out the story and if well presented, they effectively contribute to ease of understanding, on the part of the reader. This essay seeks to explain one element of form and its presentation in a story. To this end, focus shall be placed on a story by Flannery O’Connor.
In the story Good Country people, the author, O’Connor, is primarily trying to contrast good and evil. To achieve this aim, O’Connor, weaves the narration around the beliefs and perceptions of the character Joy, who later on changes her name to Hulga.
In this regard, one element of form that principally stands out is prose, which is fundamentally the unspecific but flowing manner in which the story is told. And he develops the theme gradually, as illustrated below. As the story begins Joy, who is crippled, regards herself as the most intelligent individual amongst everybody in her surroundings.
She also takes pride in her wooden leg, which she believes symbolizes her uniqueness. Deeper into the narration, she changes her name to Hulga, she finds herself in an incident where she loses her cherished wooden leg to Manley Pointer, a Bible salesman, who tricks her with seductive moves and eventually makes away with the prized-possession.
It is at this point that she (Hulga) picks knowledge of the evil existing in the world.
Given the number of characters interacting with Joy/Hulga, it calls for the writer to give similar attention to each and every one of them, detailing how, and why they influence the main character’s perception of good and evil. For instance, in telling why she respected Glynese, Mrs.
Hopewell, in her discussion with Mrs. Freeman says that it all boils down to common sense. In narrating this discussion, O’Connor sticks to the Universalist point of view to the first point of view, and from time to time sums up her (author’s) general view of the points made by the two individuals. This strategy is held throughout the entire story.
O’Connor also uses various other elements of narration including flashbacks, in order to make the reader understand why the characters find themselves at certain positions in life. Flashbacks is basically a form of narration where the author/character reaches back to a past incident and brings it forth to link it with the present.
For example, when Hulga is introduced to Manley, she urges him to talk about himself, and the author picks from his past to describe his current situation. For instance, we get to learn that his mother ensured that he never skipped a day of Sunday School, something that makes the reader understand that his entry into Bible selling did not come by chance.
This essay had set out to explain an element of form and its presentation in a story. The story Good Country People by Flannery O’Connor was used to exemplify the usage of the element of prose/narration.
The discussion came to a conclusion that proper usage of narrative strategies, helped the author bring out the theme she had in mind, in a manner that is easily picked by any reader. By lifting particular examples from the story, and giving their linkage to the chosen element of form, the theme of good vs evil has been well explained.