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Home / Essays / Literary Concepts in Flannery O’Connor Novels

Literary Concepts in Flannery O’Connor Novels

The novel by Flannery O’Connor “A Good Man Is Hard to find” and “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, deals with the aspect of disrespect and aggressions that implicate the moral behavior of persons in the society. Flannery O’Connor implicates on violence that prevails among different individuals and the aspect of human dignity that ought to be followed up in individual upbringing and in the human relations growth. Marginality is one of the aspects of the two stories and it is the key issue concerning on how the human behaviors instill sense of responsibilities in both parties. In most of his stories, she illuminates on desires prevailed by the characters life and her main interests include how the aspects of traditions have been played out by Christians. She installs on various aspects of sufferings, feelings of anguish and social environment quotidian dominating men in the context of violence presented in the narrative. Flannery O’Connor depicts on society conflicts that are present in the eminent chaotic universe thus emphasizing on the law of philosophy. Her stories of estrangement are mainly applied on as “mystery of personality”, the story often features female characters in the ethical and radical confusion and she majorly reflected on grotesque significance struggle of individuals in the society.  The aspects of sarcasm and irony in the stories are well covered and reveals of the diverse literally concept progressing throughout the stories. While both novels deal with the concept of morality, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” deals with habits and attitudes of characters behavior similar to marginality of the real world while “Everything that rises must converge” deals in the aspect of imperialist society and racism discourse.

In the story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor analyses on human nature that is suggested in good and evil aspects of living. She sorts out understanding of good and evil through an arduous journey where primal nature of man goodness is substituted by complicated behaviors that resort to challenging the understanding of human nature. The concept of dualism is revealed in characters way of living and the concept of man disobedience reflection of his fallacies. Goodness is sorted out for understanding as men desires trigger them to alter the good moral concept that is supposed to be initiated by all individuals. Flannery O’Connor suggests a sense of social responsibility and the religious aspect that man must commit to. She analyses on how the moment of grace is brought about violence that assists to give characters a realistic view of the world. Implications of radical redemptions are stipulated in the novel “A Good Man Is hard to find,” and manipulative effort by the grandmother is addressed as the source for her lack of appreciation.

The ironic tendencies in this novel are seen through the grandmother’s talkative, and manipulative tendencies example from the novel: "The children have been to Florida before," the old lady said. "You all ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad. They have never been to east Tennessee." Yet she is portrayed as being selfish and impatient. The irony is also seen in a situation where the author Flannery O’Connor comments on grandmothers way of religious living .she try to impress misfit with a Christianity talk that would serve to assist her not to be killed, "Jesus!" the old lady cried. "You've got good blood! I know you wouldn't shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady. I'll give you all the money I've got!" yet in all this aspect grandmother was sounding as cursing. The irony is well analyzed and implicated in the whole story thus making it a key literary issue in O’Connor work.

Flannery O’Connor’s is more relevant in the novel "Everything that Rises Must Converge" where it suggests of generations gap representing the civil rights and tolerance in the society. It deals with tolerance and openness for the many society evils existing in the radically diversified nation. Racism and close-mindedness assist the author in investigating the escalating grotesque on the surface. O’Connor’s addressees’ issues of morality in the view of one’s origin as he tackles on the increase in racism as the story tells of a racist white woman, conservative, following crude teachings of social ethics from her early life. "Everything that Rises must converge" duplicates aspects of crude teachings and racism tendencies in the white- black nation.

An aspect of irony is experienced where Julian’s is being hypocritical towards his own mother instead of associating his mother as a loving, tolerating and equality seeking person. He himself associates his character as being enlightened and worldly aspect with regard to hiss mother’s unoptimistic and provocative ways. This irony is well portrayed as it is deemed to be the reverse of the truth on Julian’s his said to be inescapably his mother characteristic. He struggles to not have the influence of his mother but he cannot hide his nature of being a radical individual who is in denial. What ironical about this character behavior.

Julian’s Mother’s racist and unimpeachable behavior is quoted in the novel “Everything That Rises Must Converge” when she says “if you know who you are, you can go anywhere.” “Most of them in it are not our kind of people,” she then adds that, “but I can be gracious to anybody. I know who I Am,” while Julian’s resemblance of her mother is seen where he says, “They don't give a damn for your graciousness,” Julian said savagely. “Knowing who you is is good for one generation only. You haven't the foggiest idea where you stand now or who you are.” Julian’s constantly betrays her mother by mocking her racial attitudes as her mother highly respected her colored friend. “They should rise, yes, but on their own side of the fence.” This irony enlightens one's aspect of thinking in context to racial discrimination.

In the novel anachronism is seen in Julian’s mother, but Julian’s is just as equal to her mother’s way of expression. He himself has never been able to make different Negro friends in his school, yet he continuously sneers concerning his mother bigotry nature while he ironically his most bigotry of them all. Julian despises her mother’s fact that she follows laws of her own making and in essence he is in obligation to her own making and to the worldly aspects of life, making it a contradiction to his thinking of being a better person.  “Suppose we were half white. We would certainly have mixed feelings.” “I have mixed feelings now,” Julian says. The story is based on the irony of white and black mother’s convergence.

In conclusion, one can stipulate on author way of an indictment of chaotic way of reality that his dominant in the society. She points out on the ironical aggression and victimization innocent individuals. Flannery O’Connor discusses on the mirror of civilization that needs to be opened up to make as realize that corruption, exclusion, social oppression and racism tendencies are prevalent in our society. In the context of these two novels prisons and the blacks (Negro) are not confinements to the bad people but for honest individuals and the dishonest, and manipulative and crude behavior persons are in streets under the watchful eye of others individuals and the police. The racist and selfish tendencies exist in individuals deemed to be worth of praise and of high regard example Julian in the story “Everything That Rises Must Converge” and the grandmother in the story “A Good Man Is Hard to find”.

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