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O’Connor uses symbols and imagery to significant effect in this story. Some recurring images and symbols include Christ, nature, physical ailments, and the automobile. See the link below for an explanation of these images:
In addition to these images, I would also add bird imagery. Lucynell is associated with birds, from her "eyes as blue as a peacock's neck" to several mentions of the chickens in the Crater's yard. Interestingly, both of these birds do not fly free, but are grounded, domesticated animals. Like chickens and peacocks, Lucynell has "roosted" in one spot her entire life. Mr. Shiftlet also teaches the deaf Lucynell to say her first and only word: "bird." The word is not a symbol of freedom, but of the young woman's limitations.
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