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Flannery O’Connor

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  1. Introduction
  2. The titles of O'Connor's stories
  3. The all encompassing knowledge of the dispassionate and ironic
  4. The unfortunate and erroneous characters
  5. This unraveling of the preternatural truth and denial
  6. Razing the self constructed hero
  7. O'Connor's treatment of her characters
  8. Conclusion


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). [...]


[...] In nearly all of her stories, Flannery makes it clear that it is perfunctory to raze the self-constructed hero of the self and attempt to realize the otherness of humanity and realize what is reality. This is a theme that is richly exposed in view of the Woods?. The story centers around Mary Fortune and her grandfather Mr. Fortune. Mary is the only relative Mr. Fortune had any respect for. She was practically the mirror image of himself and although ?there was seventy years' difference in their ages, the spiritual distance between them was slight? (O'Connor 336). [...]

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