The Violent Bear It Away Essays

When his great uncle died at the breakfast table Francis Marion Tarwater, 14, too drunk to bury him, fired his house and set out for the city to find out how much of what the old man had told him was true.The old man, who said he was a prophet, had kidnapped the boy from his uncle, baptized him, and raised Tarwater to expect the Lord's call himself.As a specialist in southern horror stories Miss O'Connor's attitude has been wry, her preferences perverse, her audience special.

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” The answer is complex, but it is directly connected to the scandal of the cross and its attendant violence.

The authors of this collection of essays start from that point of understanding and develop angles of vision that peel open a novel permeated with both suffering and grace.

In her first novel -- Wise Blood and in a collection of short stories -- A Good Man is Hard to Find Flannery O'Connor manifested, along with her obvious talent, a penchant for the grotesque.

If one wishes, this novel -- an exercise in the macabre -- can be read as an allegory: a struggle for a soul, a conflict between evils.

Jason Peters emphasizes the importance in O’Connor’s work of the particular rather than the general, the concrete rather than the abstract, and the person of Jesus rather than an abstract idea of God.

In this novel, Rayber is drawn to the abstract, and Peters demonstrates how abstraction violently separates individuals from each other and from themselves.

Focusing on three characteristics of reason, will, and love—Huelin shows how three of the novel’s major characters embody those qualities, even if they also represent perversion of those qualities. Travis Kroeker presents a strong argument linking the novel with the apocalyptic vision of John, the prophet, and tying this vision closely to the Eucharist and baptism.

Working not only with the title of the novel but also with the epigraph and what he feels is the pervasiveness of the influence of the Gospel of Matthew on the work, Karl E.

Richard Giannone shows how O’Connor has respect for the humanity of even the darkest of sinners and the most adamant of unbelievers.

In fact, he insists, in her fiction unbelief becomes “one way to God” (31). Desmond develops the importance of the protagonist Rayber’s early life in forming him as a contradictory figure—highly rational yet subject, because of his baptism, to feeling an overwhelming and non-rational love that floods his being.


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