Parker's Back by Flannery O'Connor

1146 WordsApr 26, 20055 Pages
To the uninitiated, the significance of Flannery O 'Connor 's Parker 's Back can seem at once cold and dispassionate, as well as almost absurdly stark and violent. Her short stories routinely end in horrendous, freak fatalities or, at the very least, a character 's emotional devastation. Flannery O 'Connor is a Christian writer, and her work is message-oriented, yet she is far too brilliant a stylist to tip her hand; like all good writers, crass didacticism is abhorrent to her. Unlike some more cryptic writers, O 'Connor was happy to discuss the conceptual and philosophical underpinnings of her stories, and this candor is a godsend for the researcher that seeks to know what makes the writer tick. Flannery O 'Connor put much conscious…show more content…
For me, the most chilling aspect of the story is the description of a prophetic water stain above Asbury 's bed: Thematic Elements This concept of "displacement" runs throughout O 'Connor 's work, and it is essentially a displacement from the world of the one true God, a theological displacement, although within the context of the story it is more social, based on the nature of the freak 's position in the society. Very often, the grotesque elements of O 'Connor 's stories are balanced out by anagogical ones. Again, the latter are not specifically symbols, for symbols work contextually to represent interactive story elements, whereas O 'Connor 's anagogical elements are just there, they wander in and out of the action; they may have symbolic significance, but it never comes directly into play as a plot element. Facing death is another thematic element that recurs often in O 'Connor, for obvious reasons, both personal and religious. 23 O 'Connor admits as much herself, in an essay in which she discusses "A Good Man is Hard to Find": "The heroine of the story, the Grandmother, is in the most significant position life offers the Christian. She is facing death." 24 This last quote speaks volumes; it is probably the single most significant and telling remark the student of Flannery O 'Connor can have in his attempt to understand her work. Clearly facing death as a Christian was the motivational engine that

More about Parker's Back by Flannery O'Connor

Open Document