Flannery O'Connor : prophet and evangelist

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carter Delafield (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Robert Watson

Abstract: Flannery O'Connor is a Roman Catholic who believes that the Christian who would create art today can do so only by making his moral judgment a part of his act of seeing and recording. Thus her work is essentially Christian art and must be judged as such if it is to be understood in all its depth and complexity. It is my aim in this paper to establish the relationship of religion to art in Miss O'Connor's work, and I attempt to accomplish my purpose through the detailed explication of three representative short stories. The stories combine a macabre Gothic surface actuality with a statement of truth as Miss O'Connor sees it. The central O'Connor theme is displacement: man has lost his proper place in the universe through his rejection of the scheme of redemption offered by God. In "The Displaced Person," Miss O'Connor describes the life and death of a Polish D. P. in rural Georgia to show that man's self-displacement leads through the displacement of God to the evil of indifference to human suffering. "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" considers modern man's search for identity and concludes that the search must be futile when man places his faith in human reason rather than divine love. "Greenleaf" is a story based on Greek fertility myths which tells of a displaced God who, as an intruder on the human scene, reclaims man for Himself in violent but conclusive acts of ritual sacrifice and salvation.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1966
O'Connor, Flannery $x Criticism and interpretation
O'Connor, Flannery $x Religion

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