proud of their homeland and tell them that in her times “children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else” (O’Connor 139). However, she interrupts her
Hernandez 4 own complaint when she sees a boy on the side of the road and says, “Oh look at the cute little pickaninny” (O’Connor 139). The word pickaninny is a racist and derogatory slang word used to describe small children of African American descent. It is ironic how the grandmother uses a disrespectful term to address a boy on the road right after she tells the children how disrespectful they are. Another example of the grandmother’s hypocrisy is when she lies to the children and tells them that there is “a secret panel” inside the old house from her memory containing “all the family silver” in order to use them as annoyance to convince Bailey into going to to the old house (O’Connor 143). Also, after the grandmother realizes she was wrong about the location of the old house, “the grandmother decided that she would not mention that the house was in Tennessee” in order to save herself from the shame (O’Connor 145). The grandmother’s egocentric actions contradict the politeness and etiquette she was attempting to teach her grandchildren. Furthermore, the author's religious beliefs greatly influenced the short story. A simple example is the characters’ constant reference to God throughout the short story as seen in the phrases, "It isn't a soul in this green world of God's that you can trust" and "God never made a finer woman than my mother and my daddy's heart was pure gold" (O’Connor 142, 147). A more elaborate theory is the character’s representation of Christian beings. Pitty Sing, the cat, represents the devil and a bringer of death. The cat manipulates and controls the grandmother and uses her to bring death to the family. The grandmother is convinced the cat will die if she does not take it with her on the family trip. Therefore, the cat has convinced the grandmother to need its presence. This can imply a manipulative action from the cat. Evidence to support the claim of the cat being the manipulative devil can be seen through the mention of the “gray monkey about a foot high, chained to a small chinaberry tree” at The Tower, the place where the
Hernandez 5 family stops to eat (O’Connor 140). Chinaberry trees as often thought to be same species as the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden is part of the Christian depiction of the creation of mankind. Adam and Eve, the first humans according to Christianity, were tempted by the devil to eat a fruit from the Tree of Knowledge that God had forbidden them to. The monkey, as a close relative to the human species, represents Adam and Eve’s primitive minds since they thought they could deceive God and since they were easily tricked by the serpent-shaped devil. Additionally, at the presence of the grandmother and her family, “the monkey sprang back into the tree and got on the highest limb” (O’Connor 140). This symbolizes
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