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American Literature - Book Report/Review Example

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Flannery O'Connor was one of America's most distinguished writers. Though often misunderstood because of her controversial writing, yet she was one of the most promising writers of her time. Though she passed away at the young age of 39, she had left behind a rich legacy of remarkable literature…
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American Literature
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Download file to see previous pages Through violence she wants to evoke Christian mystery, though she doesn't exclude other approaches to her fiction: she states that she could not have written "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" in any other way but "there are perhaps other ways than my own in which this story could be read".
Joyce Carol Oates was one of America's most prolific writers during the sixties and the seventies. When she was just nineteen years old she won the O'Henry Award and the Best American Short Stories Award for her "The Fine White Mist of winter" in 1962. As quoted by Frank R. Cunningham, "Oates's characters are unique in contemporary American fiction, in the frequency and severity of their destruction"(Frank R. Cunningham). Oates has tested almost every major literary school or set of conventions: naturalism, existentialism, social realism, detective stories, epic chronicle and romance. Presenting excerpts from Oates's novels would not only show her versatility, but would convey the way literature has an important and imposing influence on the modern writer. What's in a name If you're talking about one of Joyce Carol Oates's characters, a name can say a lot. Arnold Friend's name can be interpreted as "aren't no friend" or "A. Friend" (Johnson 150). Either way his is a demonic figure that represents the death of Connie's spirit. In fact, Arnold Friend is based on a serial killer.
In the story "A Good Man Is Hard to find" The Misfit is an ego-centric character. He has conviction of doing wrong but he never wants to be protected by God. The grandmother searches for redemption. Through the Misfit she finds it in the most bizarre way. The Misfit shows us the perspective of a man whose soul is tormented by the presence of God. O'Connor gives the reader a startling and surprising new outlook on life and religion through these two characters.
The Misfit is a man haunted and confronted by God. In that one brief moment of grace, he has given the grandmother a deeper joy and satisfaction than she has ever known in her many years of being disconnected from the reality of life. He admits that he knows that if he prays Jesus would help him. It is possible that at one time he may have had a glimpse of what he needed to do, but rejected that path. The Misfit has been convicted every day of his life for the sins he has committed, but he chooses to live with his sins like any other unrepentant man.
The grandmother's emphasis on the importance of prayer symbolizes her realization of death she knew she was to endure. Through the conversation between the grandmother and the Misfit, we learn more about the Misfit's perception of life. "He no longer knows human suffering or joy anymore. In her last attempt to eliminate the space between them, she reaches out and caresses him. He feels he is doing fine and continues to deny Jesus every time he is convicted. With the slow realization that she was to be killed, the grandmother suddenly understands and tells The Misfit, "Why you're one of my own babies. The grandmother begs him to pray so that Jesus would help him. "He can kill without pleasure or remorse," meaning his actions are almost that of a god.
In Joyce Carol Oates story "Where Are You Going" Arnold Friend is also a symbol of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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