The Action Of Mother In The River By Flannery O Connor

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In the short story The River written by Flannery O 'Connor, we can distinguish the action of grace working on a poor wretched soul, in this case, Bevel. Not only did this grace have an effect on Bevel, but also on many secondary characters, namely Bevel’s mother. She is given the title of mother but does not act like a mother. Bevel’s mother unknowingly is “afflicted”, for she abandons the duties of motherhood and does not “get up” until the action of grace is already working on her son.
Bevels mother is afflicted but it is not the common illness Mrs. Connin considers it to be. She has a heavy sickness from within. This mother’s world does not revolve around her only son, but entirely around herself. She fails to fulfill the selfless duties
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In the beginning of the story, she is lying in the bedroom with a hangover. When Bevel is asked by the preacher if his mother is sick, he responds with “She hasn 't got up yet”(pg38). We first actually see the mother “ lying on half the sofa”(pg 39). When her son finally comes back after being gone all day, instead of simply trying to show that he is missed “She didn’t get up”(pg 39). This signifies a lack of action, she is called a mother but does not act like a mother.
The first disguised action of grace is depicted during the first action we see of the mother. Mrs. Connin informs the family that Bevel is baptized, this is when “ [h]is mother sat straight up. Well the nerve! She muttered” (pg 40). This may be a modest sign, but the mother has been associated multiple times in the story as possessing no action. She always remains stationed down until the mention of Bevel’s Baptism. Even though her response may be negative toward his baptism, her standing straight up signifies this positive forward motion and alertness about her
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She “brushed her lips against his forehead”(pg 42). She made her son feel like he counted, instead worrying about making herself count, by proving the Preacher wrong. We see the first sign of affection from the mother, it may not seem that it was full of compassion and love, but she performed this motherly action. Following this small act, Flannery O’Connor then uses the precise words “[s]he got up”(pg 42). We see this positive movement from “she didn’t get up” to sitting straight up, then lastly to “[s]he got up.” To some, these distinctions may seem insignificant, but Flannery O 'Connor 's short stories are efficient. Little phrases can be full of meaning, for all her characters act and speak with purpose. These phrases give her the ability to instruct more, even with fewer words. One must just take the time to

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