Flannery O'Connor Essay

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Flannery O'Connor Essay

By | July 2013
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Flannery O’Connor cleverly creates for us timeless short stories about simple characters that appear easy to understand. Beneath the words she manages to communicate an intricate message to us regarding faith, love and family. That we are bound together as families in love, even though we do not always like one another. In most families, we tolerate each other shortcomings, like the nagging and bossiness of the grandmother, and the rudeness of the children. We see in her characters, many of the good and bad behaviors that we all accept are the best and worst of each of us on an everyday basis. The impatience and cranky nature of the father in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and the fascination of parker with tattoos, are symbolic of many of the eccentric and crazy behaviors and habits that family members often exhibit. With faith in those we love, and a belief in God, we accept and tolerate the dichotomy of good and evil operating in all humans everyday. Most of us just rationalize our actions, justify our bad behavior, and label ourselves “good people” I do think that Flannery O’Connor writes for us hoping we identify with her characters, so that we can appreciate, laugh, and perhaps reflect on the truths that she delivers in her stories. Part of the fun of O’Connor is the puzzlement of knowing that there is moral lying beneath the words that we can all relate to. We know that faith and love are present in the world, but they are hard to define, and unique in their expression. Love seems dysfunctional in a humorous way in “Parkers Back” as he tries to give to Sarah Ruth something she would love in a tattoo of Jesus. It reminded me of getting a toaster on Mother’s day. She beat him with a broom, because it was simply not the expression of love, faith or belief in God that she found acceptable. Harry sees the River as a vehicle to take him to the place where “he matters” and will feel loved. It was interesting to see all the good and evil co-existing in...

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