Sacraments In The River By Flannery O Connor

1017 Words 5 Pages
Flannery O’ Connor’s story; The River, a child named Henry is left with his babysitter for the day. From the beginning, the child lies and steals a book. He is shown to be sinful with his small actions. He seems to be raised in an unfaithful household and has little attention from his parents. In the story, when Henry meets his babysitter, he states that she is like “...a speckled skeleton...” (O’Conner, 157) and that her kids are also like skeletons but “like a skeleton of an old boat...” (O’Conner, 162). This comparison to skeletons show these characters have something different from his parents. This is their faith in God. The babysitter and the children seemed to have been baptized, setting a line between Henry and them. A skeleton
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In the A Temple of the Holy Ghost, a young girl is told by the oldest nun at her church and her mother how everyone’s body is a temple of the holy ghost. This pleased the young girl (O’Conner, 238) as she is religious. The young girl, however like Henry in The River is not the perfect child as she is very prideful and gets stubborn with the other kids, denying to eat with them (O’Conner, 242). Even to the point of not going to enjoy the fair because of the other kids. She realizes “she sassed her mother and was deliberately ugly to almost everyone” (O’Conner, 243). Her sin is pride and she acknowledges that. When the two other girls come back from the fair, they tell her about the Hermaphrodite at the fair who embraced what he/she was. This left the child wondering what the hermaphrodite was saying to the crowd. She is reminded about how everyone is a temple of the holy spirit. She thinks how the hermaphrodite was saying God made me like this and it is okay. When the young girl goes to church, she begs God to help her not be mean and to be a better person. At the end of the story, she stops being prideful in presence of god and achieves grace. This connects to the Eucharist, because to be able to receive the Eucharist one must be cleansed of all sins, or thus a temple of the holy spirit. This imagery of a temple for the holy spirit refers to how the …show more content…
The river represents baptism and the temple of the holy spirit represents the Eucharist. In both stories the children are distant or not kind as they should be. In presence of the sacraments, a light spark in the children drawly them toward achieving grace. This is because sacraments bring God into the lives of these children and everyone else. It is through the sacraments that we form a relationship with God. This relationship is what enables people to enter into heaven, where this relationship with God can be continued in eternal happiness. O’Connor’s stories regarding the sacraments are helpful in understanding the sacraments. They are realistic perspectives and having them told from a child’s perspective understanding the connection they receive with God is

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