Author Analysis: Flannery O’Connor
As a Catholic author, Flannery O’Connor had as much passion for her faith as for her writing. She was an accomplished and influential novelist who also composed ample short stories prior to her early death at age 39. An only child, O’Connor was raised by her parents, Regina and Francis O’Connor in Milledgeville, Georgia (“Bookrags” Online). She persistently pursued her literary work, publishing her first short story, “The Geranium”, at the age of 21. O’Connor attended the Georgia State College for Women, received her Masters of Fine Arts and just a year later, she published her first novel Wise Blood (“Books and Writers” Online).
Tragically and suddenly, her life was altered and her writing career
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O’Connor expressed “All of my stories are about the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it,” (O’Connor). After a perfunctory reading, her passages appear depressing. However, grace heals and O’Connor repetitively offers this notion through her character’s crises and conversions. Her common themes are evident; faith, social controversy, racial issues, sin, and redemption weave their way through almost all of her works (“Bookrags” Online). Social inequality was prevalent and the evils of racial prejudice ran wild. O’Connor held the lack of faith responsible for these burdens of her time. O’Connor’s unwavering Catholicism mostly influenced her work. She revealed “I feel if I were not a Catholic I would have no reason to write,” (O’Connor). Living on a farm in Georgia clearly affected her stories in that the majority displayed ordinary southern characters living mundane lives. Lastly, the need to accept grace O’Connor forces onto her characters is most likely drawn from her unwavering faith during personal trials with lupus. To some, Flannery O’Connor is a comical author who wrote ridiculous stories and to others she is a gifted novelist who revealed varying social criticisms. Numerous people even accept her as a Christian apologist. Regardless of the opposing reputations O’Connor left behind, through both of her novels and 32 short stories, her influence on literature is