ExpositionThe grandmother tries to manipulate her son, Bailey, into taking the family to Tennessee as she had read in the paper that a serial killer, The Misfit, was roaming around their usual holiday destination, Florida. Although the grandmother is against the idea of going to Florida at first, when the time comes to begin travelling, she is dressed in her Sunday best. O’Connor very obviously plants the idea of the grandmother dying here as you would always be dressed well for your funeral. “Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.” (O’Connor, F.
1953).Rising ActionThere is more foreshadowing in the rising action when the grandmother points at a graveyard, that coincidentally has the same amount of graves as those who are travelling. “They passed a large cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the middle of it, like a small island. “Look at the graveyard!” the grandmother said, pointing it out. “That was the old family burying ground. That belonged to the plantation.”” (O’Connor, F.
1953). Whilst driving through Georgia, for their journey to Florida, the grandmother tells the family tales of the plantation, that ironically belongs to the family of the graveyard, and convinces Bailey to turn into a dirt road to find it. Halfway down, the grandmother realises that the old plantation she is thinking of is in East Tennessee, not Georgia. Her sudden awareness of this mistake causes her to let go of the cat she had secretly smuggled into the car.ClimaxThe cat the grandmother had smuggled along jumps out from hiding and causes Bailey to lose control of the car and crash.
Falling ActionThe Misfit and his gang show up to the scene of the accident. The grandmother tries to use her being a lady as an excuse to not get killed like the rest of her family. She continues to bribe the Misfit and begs him to pray. “”Jesus!” the old lady cried. “You’ve got good blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady.
I’ll give you all the money I’ve got!”” (O’Connor, F. 1953). He does not listen.ResolutionThe grandmother tries to find sympathy in the Misfit.
“She saw the man’s face twisted close to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, “Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children!” She reached out and touched him on the shoulder. ” (O’Connor, F. 1953). The Misfit shoots the grandmother three times.
She dies. Effect of the plot on readerO’Connor deliberately gives us very little information on the characters and we are left to figure out the characters traits. She does not give much detail on the characters or events, “She just describes the situation” (Amarang9, 2012).Reason for choiceI chose this story as I found it an enjoyable read. In class, we participated in a helpful activity where we had to act out roles in order to understand elements of the literature better. Because of this I was able to identify the Freytag pyramid with a better understanding as I could relate back to the scenes.