O'Connor creates characters with many different personalities; in some of her stories she ties a character's personality to an element and the environment. Some characters have a personality that can fit a variety of elements, but some of her characters are truly tied to one specific element. Examples of this can be seen in A View of the Woods and The Enduring Chill.
In A View of the Woods, Mr. Fortune is a stubborn old man who is full of pride and set in his ways. He is clearly the embodiment of the earth element. He likes things to be a certain way and is very proud of the fact that his granddaughter, Mary Fortune, looks very much like him. The story begins with these characters viewing a construction site, where earth is being dug up; Mary Fortune is completely absorbed "watching the big disembodied gullet gorge itself on clay" (O'Connor, 525). They are both stubborn and absorbed by the site of earth being moved. Through the imagery and personality of Mr. Fortune, O'Connor links him to the earth element. He also always talks about "his land" which his son-in-law is living on, so Mr. Fortune is very much a man of earth. He has so much pride in being a "PURE Fortune," like a man who knows he is made of pure earth without any other element mixed in. At the end when Mary Fortune decides to start beating him to death, he sees himself claiming to be a "PURE Pitts," so he grabs her by the neck and smashes her head on a rock three times. The last word of the story is "clay," so O'Connor places the earth element throughout this story.