Innocence Is Bliss in O'Connor's Short Stories

1393 WordsJul 17, 20186 Pages
There’s is no freedom from the post-lapsarian world. The attributes of this fallen world are very prominent in O’Connor’s short stories. However, she chooses not to include all of her characters into this nutshell. Instead, she gives her female characters innocence and monist ideals. Ironically, O’Connor isolates them from the rest and gives them a pitiful image as she goes on to mock their ways. The obliviousness and innocence of the characters is effortlessly destroyed in the post-lapsarian world because of their lack of foundation. O’Connor centers her stories on the attributes of the post-lapsarian world, which is the world after the “Forbidden Fruit” was eaten in the Garden of Eden. The fact that these stories were written soon…show more content…
Instead, Manly Pointer, the Bible Salesman, alters Hulga’s plan by making it backfire. His facade creates a shield to hide his actual character. He manages to con her into thinking she is above him. Not knowing that she is vulnerable gave him the opportunity to overpower her. In her article “Erasing Angel: The Lucifer-Trickster Figure in Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction,” Melita Schaum writes: “He lures her by way of her own vanity into crossing boundaries from the world she thinks she knows and she claims to be master of, to one both unpredictable and revelatory.” Hulga may have been an intellectual, but she still lacked knowledge of the real world and Manly Pointer becomes the messenger from the post-lapsarian world that comes to educate her. In fact, O’Connor’s female characters live in a bubble away from the world and are oblivious to the fact that the rest of the world has fallen. A messenger, a person like Manly Pointer and/or Shiftlet, comes to these female domains and shatters the bubble that they surrounded themselves with to educate them. These men closely resemble the serpent in the Garden of Eden who gave true knowledge to Adam and Eve. In “A Circle in the Fire,” O’Connor writes: “They stopped and collected all the matches they had between them and began to set a bush on fire,” (O’Connor 151). The fire was the tactic the boys used to pass the message of the post-lapsarian world to Mrs. Cope. Before the boys came into the picture,

More about Innocence Is Bliss in O'Connor's Short Stories

Open Document