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The stories of Flannery O'Connor

The stories of Flannery O'Connor are set in her contemporary South and depict intense and even bizarre human emotions set against a world that gives the illusion of having progressed beyond animal instincts. O'Connor shows a concern with the tension between body and mind, the physical and the spiritual. She presents this tension in the context of an almost allegorical structure in her stories. These stories take place in a world that is cruel, where human beings inflict damage on one another almost as a matter of course. The world O'Connor creates in her stories is one where the conflict between mind and body is often bloody and may border on the grotesque, and in her stories the plot and theme unfolds in a world with mythological power and significance. The theme of abandonment is often present in these stories and reinforces the idea that the mind actually separates us from the world around us so that no matter what connections we might make with the world around us, ultimately we are alone. There is also a tension between the modern world and the primitive, the world of the machine and the world of human emotions. For O'Connor, the machine qualities of the modern world are antithetical to human nature and impose an order that is unnatural--sometimes to be preferred, but unnatural just the same. The contrast between the human and the machine is portrayed in a violent setting that serves as a constant background to the stories told and that give shape to the themes expressed, as will be seen in several of her stories.

O'Connor derives her view of the world from her Southern roots, and her South is a place where the human and the modern clash:

The passions are just beneath the stagnant surface in Flannery O'connor's stories. She was an old Catholic, not a convert, in the South of the poor white of the Bible Belt and this gave her a critical skirmishing power. But the symbolism of religion, rather than the acrimonies ...

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The stories of Flannery O'Connor. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 01:06, March 26, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1681142.html