NAAL -Flannery O’connor 1925-1964

1.”In my time, said the grandmother, folding her thin veined fingers, ‘children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else. People did right then. Oh, look at the cute little pickaninny she said and pointed to a negro child standing in the shack door” (p.1382). What is ironic about this passage? What does it mean when the grandmother stated “do right”? What evidence suggests a contrast between the characters and the author’s perspectives of what it means to do “right?” 2. What is the main idea of the scene at Red Sammy’s barbeque place? Take a look at the conversation between the grandmother and the owner. 3. Pull out the differences in the family’s clothing attire (p. 12, 69). What do the characters’ clothes tell us about them? What is essential about Misfit’s appropriation of Bailey’s parrot shirt (p. 122-123)? 4. Why do you think that the Misfit did not believe in Jesus? What made him so against religion and god and Jesus? 5. What is the meaning of calling this man “misfit”? Why do you think he called himself this, and why did everyone else see him as a misfit as well and called him this? 6. Hulga (Joy) was unpleasant in many ways and unwilling to attempt to improve her attitude. “If you want me, here I am – LIKE I AM,” she told her mother (1369). Do you think this was solely a result of her accident when she was 10? Did Mrs. Hopewell’s acceptance of her audacity and thinking of her as a child contribute to who Hulga is? What is the significance of Hulga opening up to the boy towards the end of the story?  7. Mrs. Hopewell received a bad review of Mrs. Freeman before hiring her. “But my wife nor I neither could have stood that woman one more, minute on this place.” (1368) Mrs. Hopewell then decided to use Mrs. Freeman’s downfall, “being in everyone’s business,” to her advantage and see that she handle all business. What does this say about Mrs. Hopewell? 8. Mrs. Hopewell said that there were “not many girls with Glynese’s common sense.” Then, he went on to talk about the visitor they had the day before, “he bored me to death, but he was so sincere and genuine I couldn’t be rude to him. He was just good country people, you know” (1374). Mrs. Freeman commented on how she saw him come and go and exchanged “looks” with Hulga. What is the significance and irony of this segment of the story? 9. “You poor baby,” she murmured. “It’s just as well you don’t understand,” and she pulled him by the neck, facedown against her. “We are all damned,” she said, “but some of us have taken off our blindfolds and see that there’s nothing to see. It’s a kind of salvation.” (1378)? Why do you think the boy is insistent that Hulga needs to tell him she loves him? What does Hulga mean when she says taking off the blindfold is a kind of salvation? 10. “Nothing had been arrived at by anyone that had not first been arrived at by her.” (1368) Mrs. Freeman was quick and always knew what was going on around her. In the end, Mrs. Hopewell describes the boy selling the Bibles as simple, but Mrs. Freeman states, “Some can’t be that simple, I know I never could” (1380). What is the significance of this statement? Did Mrs. Freeman know what happened?

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