Catcher in the RyeLivebinder

Enoch and The Gorilla
Flannery O’Conner
The story opens to Enoch trying to make it across town in the rain. He is attempting to get a very old umbrella until it breaks and he is flooded with the held up water to the laughter of children in line to see Gonga the gorilla, the movie star (a person in a gorilla suit). He decides this is a perfect opportunity to insult the successful gorilla, who he finds a s a representation of all the bad moments of his life, so he stands in line with the kids. When it is finally his turn to shake hands with the gorilla, he cannot think of an insult and he thinks about how that was the first hand extended to him since he came to the city. He proceeds to tell the gorilla about his dull childhood and how his dad made him come to the city only to the response, “you go to hell” from the gorilla.
Enoch is distraught and goes to his room and disassembles the dysfunctional umbrella to make it a walking stick of sorts which seems to make him feel powerful. He then goes to a diner and looks at the movie times to find Gonga again. He takes off and finds Gonga shaking more hands and sneaks in the back of Gonga’s trailer. After several weird sounds from the trailer and quite a distance traveled, he stumbles out of the moving trailer with the gorilla suit in hand. After placing his clothes in a self-dug hole he put on the gorilla suit. He walked until he found a young couple sitting together on a rock. He extended his hand with expectations of the same reaction of the kids to the original Gonga, only to the man running away in horror. Enoch in the gorilla suit was surprised and sat down looking at the uneven skyline at the story’s end.



Enoch and the Gorilla / A Good Man is Hard to Find
Picture Representation

tarzan-junglecruisegun.jpg
This picture represents a common theme in both of the short stories. Both stories have a main character that has a tool used to make them feel powerful, because in reality they are not. The protagonist in Enoch and the Gorilla, Enoch, makes his umbrella a walking stick and finds himself feeling more distinguished and powerful from it. This picture represents Enoch at the end of the story when he puts on the gorilla costume with a gun, displaying his power. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, the misfit has a need to carry his weapon, because it is his means of power. This picture represents the other side of the spectrum when the misfit, the man in the picture, when he does not have his weapon he feels lost, for his sense of power that he needs is gone. Both of these characters demonstrate citizens in today’s society who have the need for power.