Flannery O'Connor was the unmitigated master of her particularly esoteric craft of assaulting the all-devouring gray spaces of the humanistic spectrum. To those who merely make a skeletal browsing of her work or simply are first time readers may find her to be unnaturally grotesque in her stark portrayal of the often heinously morally and socially contaminated characters featured in her stories. Nevertheless, her tough-minded short stories give staggering cultural and spiritual commentary when one takes heed of the profuse blend of the serious and ironic in her work. She does not in fact, stringently admonish the inherent faults of her characters but brings them to fruition in order to expose and enervate these faults with her belief in the rather morbid preternatural tool of grace. For this reason, the protagonists, or often times, jaded Christ figures in her works who seem the farthest from being deemed spiritually or socially "good" are the characters who are given redemption most frequently by those characters who are supposedly socially seamless. Although her writing is exponentially filled with her spiritual and cultural awareness, the mundane and dialectic styling of her prose allows for a very neutral and unbiased body of work. It is only when the reader regards the symbolism behind the seemingly blatant grotesqueries in her work that they begin to grasp the fundamental themes of hypocrisy, prejudice, and arrogance that are so thickly elucidated in each story.
[...] In this story Flannery does not only admonish those who hold themselves above others in their supposed supreme intellect, but she also admonishes education itself and harboring a completely naturalistic view of the world as it only putrefies and stagnates one's soul as it does not allow one to even see beyond the self. Yet another story in which the unfortunate and erroneous characters only discover absolute truth when it is too late is “Everything that Rises Must Converge”. The story largely transpires on an integrated bus with a young man named Julian, and his widowed mother as they are on their way to bring her to an exercise class at the Y. [...]
[...] He even went as far as “imagining his mother lying desperately ill and his being able to secure only a Negro doctor for (O'Connor 414). When the Negro woman with the identical hat arrived on the bus Julian was delighted as it would teach his “morally warped” mother a lesson. The woman, however, had a son, and Julian's mother persistently finds Negro children to be adorable and always gives them a in here extreme racist ignorance. Julian was disgusted at this notion but could not stop her, when she tried, the child's mother, enraged, replied don't take nobody's pennies!” (O'Connor 418). [...]
[...] After she has experienced this moment of absolute truth in death, O'Connor even illustrates her redemption by noting that grandmother, who sat and half lay in a puddle of her own blood with her legs crossed under her like a child's and her face smiling up at the cloudless Connor 132). In this story Flannery explicated that it is impossible to classify humankind into two absolute groups of and but that there are far too many notches on the spectrum of atavistic and spiritual scale of humanity. The Misfit even says himself, about the grandmother would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life” (O'Connor 133). [...]
[...] Again, in this story O'Connor condemns the intellect as a displacement for the spiritual and emotional place in one's soul and that even the supposedly most educated people are often times the farthest from the truth. Flannery O'Connor was truly the supreme master of short prose and had an almost uncanny knowledge of the human inclination toward hypocrisy, self- delusion, and a wide spectrum of other human frailties. She does not show disdain for her characters, but only shows them the truth by letting them come face to face with the folly of their ways. Her own [...]
[...] The two would sit out together and watch the bulldozer raise the dirt of the Earth all day. He believed that her one mythic frailty, however, was the fact that she would let Pitts beat her. Mr. Fortune wanted to sell the land, which the children called lawn” to Mr.Tilman. Mary, however, is completely disillusioned with this idea. She does not want anything blocking her view of the woods, and it is also where her father's cows graze. Mr. Fortune was severely taken aback at the fact that Mary disagreed with him, but nevertheless, he tricked her into coming with him to make the transaction with Mr. [...]
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