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O'connor, "Good Country People" - fixing my Thesis statement


Jul 27, 2009   #1
Short Story by Flannery O'connor, "Good Country People".

Instructions: use the following short fiction element and theme sentence as part of your thesis statement structure.
Additional Details
Forgot to add to instructions:
"I am giving you the theme I want you to use as the theme sentence in your thesis statement. I am also giving you the short fiction element I want you to use as the main focus of your thesis. USE THE THEM WORDING EXACTLY AS I HAVE WRITTEN IT. The them should be the last part of your thesis statement structure

Short fiction element: Imagery and symbolism

Theme: When confronted with true Nothingness, people who have a mechanical way of dealing with the world, often realize their lack of self.

MY TRY: Hulga's farce of strength and arrogance is peeled away when her leg, the symbol of her strength, is stolen revealing her true weakness, helplessness. When confronted with true nothingness, people who have a mechanical way of dealing with the world, often realize their lack of self.

Is this acceptable? Her instructions say exactly but it makes no sense.

Jul 27, 2009   #3
REVISION:

In "Good Country People", Hulga's farce of strength and arrogance is peeled away when her leg, the symbol of her strength, is stolen revealing her true weakness, helplessness; hence O'Connor suggests when confronted with true nothingness, people who have a mechanical way of dealing with the world, often realize their lack of self.

OR

In "Good Country People", Hulga's farce of strength and arrogance is peeled away when her leg, the symbol of her strength, is stolen revealing her true weakness and leaving her with nothing; hence O'Connor suggests when confronted with true nothingness, people who have a mechanical way of dealing with the world, often realize their lack of self.
Jul 27, 2009   #4
Who is this teacher? (That's a rhetorical question.) I think I have seen assignments from this teacher before. S/he seems to think it helps students to give them theme statements like this. Terrible pedagogy, just terrible.

Having gotten that out of my system, I think you are close. You're on target with the theft of the leg, but you need to more clearly link that to the key words in the theme sentence provided by the teacher: nothingness, lack of self, mechanical way of dealing with the world. If the leg is the symbol of the (mechanical) self, then its absence stands for nothingness. The protagonist cannot take the confrontation of this nothingness and crumbles into helplessness.
Jul 28, 2009   #5
I think the pedagogical approach is ironic, given that it is being applied to a story that apparently criticizes taking too mechanical approach to the world. In any event, I'd throw some reference to imagery in there, given the wording of the assignment and the apparent nature of your teacher.
Jul 28, 2009   #6
I think the pedagogical approach is ironic, given that it is being applied to a story that apparently criticizes taking too mechanical approach to the world

Hah! I didn't notice that. Good point.


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