Flannery O’Connor and the Prodigal Son
Flannery O’Connor, author of the short story “Revelation”, writes about characters that discover their world is not as they believe and that things are truly the opposite of how they appear. There are many moments of enlightenment in her story “Revelation”, as well as in the parable of the Prodigal Son. I will attempt to interpret this story as I think O’Connor would. In the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), there is a man with two sons. When the sons grow up, the younger asks his father for his inheritance and goes off to experience life. This is an outrageous decision on the son’s behalf. He is going against his father’s rules and ideas. He spends all his family’s hard earned money indulging on parties, women and material objects. He tries to survive on his own before going home and works on a pig farm and feeds from the pigs’ food and encounters other desperate situations. When he arrives home, his father has the fattest lamb killed and he has a party honoring his return. When the older brother learns of all the attention his brother is receiving, he becomes very frustrated and jealous. The parable raises important questions. For example, was it right for the younger brother to take all his money and leave? I found myself sympathizing with him more than the one that stayed home. Even though he went against his father’s wishes and blew all his money on parties, he ventured out to new territories and new experiences. He wasn’t afraid to take a risk and see the world. Of course this was very frowned upon and almost unheard of, he spent all his money on frivolous things and went against his father and left behind all his duties. He wasn’t considering his future and didn’t have his priorities straight. Instead, the other son stayed home and followed his father’s wishes. With his future in mind, he chose to stay at his father’s house and live comfortably instead of venturing out. He was making...
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