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Flannery O’Connor Essay

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Flannery O’Connor

Mary Flannery O’Connor was born in 1925 in Savannah, Georgia. She was an only child, and her parents were deeply religious Roman Catholics. She was educated at the Women’s College of Georgia and the State University of Iowa. While she was at college, she wrote short stories which were published. During this time her father died of lupus, a blood disease that would eventually claim her life as well. After she was diagnosed, she moved to Milledgville, Georgia, for treatment of the disease. She continued writing and published two novels, Wise Blood and The Violent Bear it Away, as well as two collections of short stories, A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge. She died from Lupus in 1964
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Before they even leave their apartment, they argue over a hat that Julian’s mother bought. She is convinced that she must return it so the money spent on it could be invested in paying off bills, but Julian tells her to wear it and compliments her on it even though he secretly thinks it is hideous. This hat is a symbol of the conflict that exists between the two. Julian sees the hat as another relic that his mother holds on to, and as an additional form of shame that he must endure from his mother. On the other hand, Julian’s mother sees the hat as an object that defines her status in society, but she is willing to sacrifice it if it will help her son get ahead in life.

Racism is the key point of conflict between these two characters. Julian detests his mother’s prejudice, which he is why the bus ride is such a burden to him. When they both board the bus, Julian hopes that an African American will be on it because he knows how uncomfortable his or her presence would make his mother. He is disappointed when the only other people on the bus are white. When an African American does get on the bus, Julian deliberately finds an excuse to start a conversation with him in order to upset his mother. After his attempt to continue the dialogue fails, Julian broods over other ways to force his mother to come into contact with an African American so
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