April 02, 2006
pride of the peacock
"He (the priest) came regularly once a week with a bag of breadcrumbs and, after he had fed these to the peacock, he would come in and sit by the side of her bed and explain the doctrines of the Church."
Was the priest feeding some kind of vanity as represented by the peacock? Or did he see in it the beauty created by God? It is hard to say what O'Connor wants us to think since she deals with religion in such an ambiguous way. In the beginning of the story, the peacock seemed to focus his attention "on something no one else could see". O'Connor may mean for the peacock to represent an all-knowing figure looking out at the inevitable future.
Posted by JenniferDiFulvio at April 2, 2006 08:59 PM
That could be true. But I think the peacock represented like Matt said the eyes of the "Displaced" worker meaning that he saw everything that went on. Nothing was hidden. Like the peacock, when he spread his wings everything is out in the open. The true light comes through. Religious aspect in that the tail of the peacock spreading the wings God's light comes through.
Posted by: LisaRandolph at April 3, 2006 10:31 AM
I like the line on p. 204: "Then she stood a while longer, reflecting, her unseeing eyes directly in front of the peacock's tail". I can picture this-it's like she has a thousand-mile stare going into the bird's tail, but not just any bird, a bird whose tail looks like a hundred lidless eyes that stare right back at her. I think that story has some of O'Connor's most vivid descriptions.
Posted by: Brenda Christeleit at April 3, 2006 04:58 PM