Essay on Mary Flannery O'Connor

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Mary Flannery O'Connor is one of the most preeminent and more unique short story authors in American Literature (O'Connor 1). While growing up she lived in the Bible-belt South during the post World War II era of the United States. O'Connor was part of a strict Roman Catholic family, but she depicts her characters as Fundamentalist Protestants. Her characters are also severely spiritually or physically disturbed and have a tendency to be violent, arrogant or overly stupid. (Garraty 582) She mixes in her works a full-fledged gothic eeriness with an authentic feeling for the powers of grace and redemption. O'Connor's substantial literary reputation is based upon her two novels and her short stories collected in Everything That Rises Must …show more content…
In 1959 her condition stabilized and she and her mother traveled to Lourdes and Rome. In early 1964 a benign abdominal tumor was removed, but in the end all the operation succeeded in doing was speed up the development of her lupus. And after a long, painful illness, that had also claimed her father, she died on August 3, 1964 in Milledgeville. (Garraty 583)

During her life O'Connor was almost universally admired, but not fully understood author. She was an author who filled her stories with characters who are all deformed in some way. Some have labeled her an atheist because of her views on religion and for using grotesque examples. (O'Connor 3) It is true that she frequently criticized the materialism and spiritual apathy of contemporary society and it's need for religious faith and redemption (O'Connor 2). In response to these accusations O'Connor simply said "To the hard of hearing you shout and to the almost blind you draw large and startling figures." (O'Connor 2)

O'Connor was noted for her strangely touching stories about the life in the South. O'Connor had a fine ear for Georgia dialect and a merciless eye for the flamboyant aspects of modern life. In her work demented comedy and grotesque violence often mask a deeper seriousness of purpose and an abiding religious faith. O'Connor's writing's made people open their eyes to our way of life and beliefs. They may not have changed their ways but at least they thought about it.

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