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Flannery O'Connor and Her Southern Gothic Style

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    Flannery O’Connor, known for her original Southern Gothic style of prose has been titled “the master of the short story” (O’Connor). Her application of symbolism and the themes of Southern religion deem her as one of the most influential writers in American history. Born in Savannah, Georgia in 1925 and raised in the South, O’Connor was socialized as a member of the Catholic Church which proves evident throughout her writings. She studied journalism at the University of Iowa, but quickly migrated back to the South where she wrote most of her works: two novels, 32 short stories, and a number of commentaries and reviews. When diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, the same illness that killed her father when she was young, she …show more content…

    Tranquility is another moral of the South within Christianity. Although not associated with Southern religion, tranquility is necessary in the way of maintaining peace by not causing trouble, a Southern mother’s favorite phrase, and especially avoiding disturbances on Sundays, the Sabbath day. Tranquility, for example, exists as the peace in sleepy towns. According to O’Connor, peace can be difficult to find, as avowed by J. John of Challenge Newsline, “in a hectic world full of stress, tranquility has become one of the most valuable of commodities,” or it can award itself upon people of faith, as in most of her stories (“Pause for…”). People of Christianity uphold tranquility as a standard for other religious people surrounding themselves. During the scene in “Good Country People” when the bible salesman approaches Mrs. Hopewell about purchasing bibles, she does not accept the invitation, but agrees with him that “good country people are the salt of the Earth” (O’Connor 188). One could interpret “good country people” as people that are “genuine,” hospitable, kind, and Christian. O’Connor grants peace to her morally correct characters, but reserves “suffering… [to people who] are never transformed by it, principally because they are fixed in their secular or self-centered minds” as stated by Davis Leigh, Professor of Philosophy in Religion, in his journal, Suffering and the Sacred in .

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