Pride in Greenleaf" and Spotted Horses
Pride is a feeling that most people in the world have always shared. Pride can be a great thing to have, but when a person has too much pride, the situation becomes very different. Pride can cause a person to do things he would not do under normal circumstances, and it can cause a person unhappiness. Mrs. May in "Greenleaf" and Henry Armstid in "Spotted Horses" both have a sad type of pride that leads to untimely death and demise. In Henry's case, his pride is the direct cause of his injuries done by the horses, and Mrs. May's is somewhat more indirect.
In "Greenleaf," Mrs. May thought that she was a blessing to the world. She thought that everything good that happened was her doing and that everything she did was good. At one point in the story she says, "I work and slave, I struggle and sweat to keep this place for them and as soon as I'm dead, they'll marry trash and bring it in here and ruin everything. They will marry trash and ruin everything I've done." Although she hates the dairy farm and her two sons do not live up to her standards, she still has a sense of pride about them causing her to be so preoccupied with what she has done for them. The bull, a prominent symbol for what Mrs. May cannot control, meanders throughout the story and clashes and conflicts with her pride. The two are intertwined: she constantly visualizes and hears the bull in the day and sleep. In one of her dreams she talks of being "aware that what ever it was had been eating as long as she had the place and had eaten everything from the beginning of her fence line up to the house and now was eating the house and calmly with the same steady rhythm would continue through the house, eating her and the boys, and then on, eating everything but the Greenleafs." The bull symbolizes what she cannot do in life, what she cannot control, and what she has not done, and it is what makes her take the last step before her death by bringing out her pride and causing her to try and take control over the unknown, over itself. She is then gored to death by the bull, and this proves the point that she should not have concerned her whole life with her pride and what she had done and what she could not ultimately control.