Summary: The Church Of Flannery O Connor

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The Church of Flannery O’Connor Flannery O’Connor is nothing more than a preacher hiding behind a mask of literary devices. O’Connor was a devote Catholic, and it comes as no surprise that her literary works often contain biblical “lessons”, one just has to dig through all of her figurative language to see this. Flannery O’Connor will never quote bible verses, noris never going to say “here you go, here is the message about God and Faith that I want you to understand”, one will never find it that black and white. Instead, she is going to put the reader’s heart through immense pain, heartbreak, and suffering, then allow them to find the biblical meaning on their own. In a way, Flannery’s goal is for readers of her books to go and use the…show more content…
The most simplistic message that one receives from the novel is that even if one strays away from Christianity, they will always find their way back. However, just as she does in most of her works, O’Connor goes as far as to give her character’s symbolic names. The protagonist of the novel’s name is Hazel Motes, and is affectionately called “Haze” by his friends. Though at first one believes this short-name that is given to him carries no logic behind it, O’Connor inserted this small yet powerful detail to further convey her message to her readers. Throughout the novel Hazel Motes is violently scrambling around Taulkinham, desperately trying to set up his own church and break away from traditional Christianity. In doing so he distances himself from God, and puts himself into “haze”, or a disillusioned state. Hazel denies the word of Jesus Christ and even states that to him “Nothing matters but that Jesus was a liar” (Wise Blood 105). Finally Hazel begins to realize that traditional Christianity is the true way and, blinds himself. Though he is blinded he feels enlightened, and no longer is called “Haze” by others for the few remaining pages of the book. Flannery O’Connor is making a reference to the biblical chapter Saul’s Conversion, where the main character is blinded after being asked by Jesus Christ “why do you persecute me?”. (9 Acts 1:31) It is…show more content…
When Harry’s sitter Mrs. Connin comes over to pick him up from his troubled parents, she sees how Harry is dressed and states “he aint fixed right”, Harry’s father then states that she should fix him(The Complete Stories 157). Though at first glance it may seem as though this conversation is solely about Harry’s attire, this is the perfect example of a mask O’Connor hides her Christian lessons behind. Mrs. Connin plans on fixing Harry, but it has nothing to do with his clothes. She takes Harry to a church to get baptized in the river because she is a heavy believer in faith healing. After Harry spends some time at Mrs. Connin’s family farm, he learns that a carpenter Jesus Christ made him, and the family begins to refer to Harry as “Bevel”. Again, the reader sees Flannery O’Connor make use out of symbolic names, as a bevel is a carpentry tool. Harry or Bevel as he is now known as, is baptized by the family’s preacher, and afterword the preacher says “You count now. Before you did not even count” (The Complete Stories 168). This is Flannery O’Connor making an enternal comment inside her work of literature as to how important she feels it is for everyone to be baptized, simply because it will change one’s prospective on life. The strongest Christian message that O’Connor delivers in The River, is through the scene of Harry’s dream when he returns home
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