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Wednesday, April 26 • 10:35am - 10:55am
Bridging The Gap: Flannery O’Connor’s Exploration Of Redemption And The Grotesque In “Good Country People” And “Revelation”

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My thesis examines the ways in which the moral redemption of characters can double as the political redemption of a region in Flannery O’Connor’s short stories “Good Country People” and “Revelation.” The short stories each present two characters that not only contrast with each other, but that also represent distinctive aspects of the South: the old South and the new South. Characters that represent the old South appear to be physically superior but prove to be morally grotesque, while characters representing the new South appear physically grotesque but are actually morally superior. Further I argue that, O’Connor alludes to the fact that both types of characters are in need of redemption. These stories then function not only as political allegories portraying the unpleasant but essential transformation into a new, redeemed South, but also as commentaries on the brokenness encompassing humanity at large. While many scholars have examined either the spiritual or political aspects of O’Connor’s fiction, for example scholarship by Karl Martin and Barbara Wilkie Tedford, I seek to demonstrate how O’Connor bridges the gap between the political and spiritual, allowing readers to find the grotesque and redemption as it pertains to the South and their individual lives.

Wednesday April 26, 2017 10:35am - 10:55am PDT
232 Karpen Hall

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