In view of her short stories, Lewis & Packer (1990) says that O’Connor’s stories are upheld by two pillars in which the first includes the shocking or terrible events in which she notes that violence is capable of returning her characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace. The second characteristic is that she cares immensely about vivifying the fallen state of man. Also in her short stories O’Connor does not enable her readers to identify with her characters with enough depth so that when the sin or the violence occurs the reader thinks that could have been him or her.
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In addition, Oates (1994) says that Flannery O’Connor is one of the most idiosyncratic and distinctive of American short story writers. Her stories are widely anthologized but it is always the same two or three stories that are widely represented. Gentry (2005) say that some of her most wrongheaded characters make plans to enlighten themselves. This is a surprising circumstance when one considers the frequency with which critics describe her characters as the product of a misanthropic or at least uncompassionate vision.
In the short story “The Life You Save May be Your Own” has in fact been made into a sort of cartoon for television. Gentry (2005) say that due to this short story may seem to be little more than a caricature a short story which is filled with images of the negative grotesque. Mr. Shiftlet has generally seen him as grotesque in a totally negative fashion while Josephine Hendin sees him as afraid of sex and able to love only a car.
Besides that, Gentry (2005) continues to say that from the depiction of the characters the world is almost rotten but insofar the goal of the story is to reveal the process by which Mr.shiftlet attempts to bring about his self transformation. Gentry (2005) thus noted that what is gained from the short story is that Shiflet becomes a unique protagonist caught between positive and negative grotesquerie.
On the other hand Robillard (2004) establishes that Flannery O’Connor’s fiction continues to provoke interest and critical analysis. In the short story “Everything that Rises Must Converge” the illusion to Chardin theory of convergence offers an enriching dimension to the story in the Southern gothic. The focus of the story as indicated by Robillard (2004) is on the disparate values of Julian and his mother epitomized by the bourgeois hat she chooses to wear on her week trip. Integration emerges as the divisive issue. Robillard (2004) further says that Julian’s mother does not see any value of integration while on the other hand Julian favors it. In this context Robillard (2004) says that because Julian unlike anyone else in the story is distinguished by name the story focuses on him and his development.
Analysis gained from O’Connor show that heroes crumble. In both her short stories “Wise Blood” and “The Violent Bear It Away” explores the long moment of fear in which after years of resentful obedience they discover they must choose their life (Robillard, 2004). In this two short stories, O’Connor mocks Motes and exalts Tarwater, but she gives them a similar fate. The author brings the aspect of violence in the southern gothic and uses the two characters to portray the real picture of area.
According to Robillard (2004) this is because of their inability to tolerate complexity, ambivalence and human passion and their overwhelming rigidity, force them to run from whatever alternatives life presents to them. From these two short stories the characters abdicate adulthood in favor of their old familiar pain. From the comparison the two short stories discussed in this paragraph we can see that says that no hero grows up and therefore Tarwater becomes a replica of the prophet and Motes turns into a logical absurdity a suffering mechanical man (Robillard, 2004).
The characters in her short stories represent the views of both the violence southern gothic society and at the same time depict a society in which Christianity takes a center focus. Also discrimination is not left behind in one of her short stories and therefore there is a mixture of modernity and some aspects of understanding our human approach to God.
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