Symbolism In The Artificial Nigger
Flannery O’Conner’s stories are right in imagery and symbolization. The moral of a Flannery O’Conner story is to successfully show, in the plainest way possible, the action of God’s grace. Flannery O’Conner’s most impacting story is The Artificial Nigger. Flannery O’Conner’s goal in the story is to have one character accept and identify the grace of God, which leads to a change in their actions and characteristics.
The story opens with moonlight flooding bedroom of Mr. Head and his grandson Nelson. The room appears to be the sleeping place of a very important person, like the bedroom of a CEO. Mr. Head believes that he is superior to everyone else, especially black people. Mr. Head …show more content…
Head and Nelson arrive at the train station and Mr. Head is scared that the train will not stop for them. In that case he is anxious Nelson will tease him saying that the train was never going to stop for him anyways. All Mr. Head wants is for Nelson to look up to him because he believes he is older and wiser. For a second Mr. Head thinks about turning back, as to avoid the possible humiliation, but it is too late. The train horn blows and the train stops especially for them. Once on the train they are seated next to a man who does not seem to be bothered much by them. Mr. Head forces a one-sided conversation with him saying, “Ignorant as the day he was born, but I mean for him to get his fill once and for all”. Mr. Head keeps putting his grandson down to make himself feel better. This is an irrational insecurity for Mr. Head; there is absolutely no reason for him to tell everyone how he is better than his …show more content…
Head is successful in intimidating Nelson on the train multiple times. Nelson fails to recognize three black people who walk through the car as "niggers." However, Nelson is able to turn the blame back on his grandfather by saying, "You said they were black. You never said they were tan. How do you expect me to know anything when you don 't tell me right?" Mr. Head lets this remark go and focuses on other things going on in the train. Eventually Mr. Head and Nelson get hungry and head down to the restaurant car. The second incident, in which Mr. Head is trying to intimidate Nelson, involves Mr. Head 's confrontation with a black waiter in the dining car. Mr. Head is attempting to show Nelson the kitchen when he is stopped by a black waiter saying, “Passengers are not allowed in the kitchen!" Nelson believes that the black waiter is purposely trying to make a fool of him, and feels that he can now understand why his grandfather disliked