The anecdotes A Good Man is Hard to Find and The Comforts of Home will

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The anecdotes A Good Man is Hard to Find and The Comforts of Home will

be examined with respect to color

Flannery O’Conner – Color Connotations

The anecdotes A Good Man is Hard to Find and The Comforts of Home will

be examined with respect to color connotation and imagery. This essay

will discuss how colors affect the reader’s abstract senses and

emotions. Colors are also used to suggest the nature of the piece and

characters within. Various cultures perceive colors differently which

could change a reader’s perspective.

A Good Man is Hard to Find is told from the grandmother’s point of

view. The first significant color is describing her son’s wife. “… a

young woman is slacks, whose face was as broad and innocent as a

cabbage and was tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two

points on top like rabbit’s ears.” The use of this color is ambiguous.

It could be construed as either positive or negative. The positive is

that it may be suggesting the woman’s youth, fertility and vigor. The

negative connotation is the grandmother’s jealousy and envy towards

her youthfulness. There is apparent animosity between the two. When

the grandmother suggests visiting Tennessee “The children’s mother

didn’t seem to hear her…” The grandmother never speaks directly to the

mother. She repeatedly refers to the woman’s attire with a definite

manner of superiority.

“[The next day] the children’s mother still had on slacks and still

had her head tied up in a green kerchief, but the grandmother had on a

navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim

and a navy blue dress with small white dots in the print. Her collars

and cuffs with white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she

had...

... middle of paper ...

...the color yellow

appears. “[The dog] opened one yellow eye, took him in, and closed it

again.” This indicates and Thomas’s cowardice and avarice. He is

greedy because he wants his house and mother’s attention. Violence

shortly ensues. Black is related to Sarah twice; although there is

only one reference to black regarding Thomas. Thrice were both

characters correlated with red, demonstrating they mutually played a

role in the death of the mother.

Colors are in effect word-pictures which work by a method of

association. Images and emotions are created when readers make

connotations of colors within the text. In United States of America,

white is a representation of purity, peace, cleanliness, innocence and

marriage; however, in China, white is symbolic of mourning and death.

Universally, blue has the fewest negative connotations across various

cultures.
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