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Female Characters in Flannery O'Conner Short Stories - Essay Example

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Name of of Professor Name of Class Date Female Characters in Flannery O’Conner Short Stories 1 Introduction Flannery O’Conner was a Southern writer who is best known for her short stories. Her stories are rich in local color and they present a variety of themes and issues that she thought were important to the historical time frame in which she wrote…
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Female Characters in Flannery OConner Short Stories
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"Female Characters in Flannery O'Conner Short Stories"

Download file to see previous pages Some have an aspect of madness, some are very assertive and others are very devout Christians. The three short stories that will be critiqued for the elements of women are , “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” and “A Circle In the Fire.” All three stories provide the reader with a look into the traditional, Southern woman and her need for survival. 2 “Everything that Rises Must Converge” In the beginning of this story, the reader is introduced to Julian and his mother. They are on their way to a “reducing class at the Y” (O’Connor 1) where his mother must lose 20 pounds. The reader is immediately pulled into the story because the writing is very clear and crisp. O’Connor has the reader standing behind the mother and watching her try on her hat to get it to fit her head in just the right way. The author writes, “she lifted the hat one more time and set it down slowly on top of her head” (“Everything” 1). This automatically sets the mood for what is going to happen and the reader understands that the mother is elderly by the “grey hair protrude on either side of her florid face …” (“Everything” 1). ...
This mother and son conflict continues throughout the story. His mother was “still [living] according to the laws of her own fantasy world” (“Everything” 6) where she would always remain. He saw the world differently and was attempting to make her see the world for what it was—a place that had changed. His mother still thought she was living in a time when slaves were slaves and everything in her mind was right. This is not the world they were living in now. Bryan N. Wyatt states that Julian wrestles with what to do with his mother since he has become emotionally detached from her. He thinks about abandoning her at a bus stop to get out of her clutches. Michael W. Crocker and Robert C. Evans note that the convergence in the story has to do with Julian’s mother being seen as n outsider of the society in which she lives and having to come to terms with the fact that life is not what it used to be – that blacks are now free and they can move around as whites and they can work in jobs instead of on plantations (par. 7). This is a sad stroke of luck for Julian’s mother because it is difficult for her to deal with this truth. In fact, this is so difficult that she walks down the street, has a heart attack and dies at the end of the story when she is confronted with reality. To say that this is a poignant ending is an understatement. The reader can identify with Julian’s mother and with Julian because these two people are seen in everyone’s family. The mother in this short story is very traditional, and she may be suffering from delusions as she lives in her fantasy world. She only understands good Southern hospitality that she grew up with and she is not prepared for the life outside of this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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