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Parker's Back (Essay Sample)

This is arguement-based analysis of Flannery O'Connor short story, Parker's Back. This is not a plot summer. Instead, you must focus on a specific topic and incorporate relevant phares, details, and concepts from the short story. Topics to be discussed..... 1.) The relationship between Sara Ruth and Parker. They are complete opposites; ying and yang. Sara's manichaeism view of Faith vs. Parker's deniance of God. 2.)Specific events that Parker endures which can be interpreted as a sign from God. Examples: when he sees the tattooed man as a young child, when he meets Sarah Ruth, when he crashes into the tree and it looks like a burning bush, or at the end when he has welts on his back similar to how Jesus suffered. 3.) Parker's journey to self awareness. Use specific events in the story that provide eveidence. For example: Parker had always been impulsive when he got his tatoo's which would end quickly in disatisfaction, until he got his last tatoo on his back of God. Can be viewed as the tatoo on his flesh had entered his body/soul. Idea that body and soul are one. source..

O.E. Parker and Sarah Ruth: Like Yin and Yang
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O.E. Parker and Sarah Ruth: Like Yin and Yang
Opposites attract. In this case, that may be so. Flannery O`Connor tells the intriguing story of O.E. Parker and his wife, Sarah Ruth, who, interestingly enough, is nothing at all like Parker himself; then again, that may just be the whole point that thus makes Parker`s Back something of a novelty.
"[He] looked more closely at her. I don`t want nothing to do with this one, he thought." ‘He` would be referring to Parker; ‘her`, on the other hand, would be referring to Sarah Ruth. This was his opinion of Sarah Ruth when Parker met her. At some point, he even thought, "Who in God`s name would marry her? [Parker thought];. As it turns out - ironically - she becomes his wife later on. Conversely, Sarah Ruth married him anyway regardless of her opinion of him; from the beginning until they eventually got married, she thought of him an ‘unsaved` man who somewhat was a fool for having himself covered in pointless body decor:
"All that there," the woman said, pointing to his arm, "is no better than what a fool Indian would do. It`s a heap of vanity." She seemed to have found the word she wanted. "Vanity of vanities," she said.
Through the course of the story, we find that Parker was, in a sense, a restless man - without direction and beliefs, so to speak. At fourteen, he found himself fascinated with a man dressed with a variety of colors embedded upon him from head to toe (except the loins, as was pointed out). Since then, tattoos have become his obsession; and every month - or at least whenever he feels the need for it - he would get a new picture drawn on any part of his body that was still bare. Nearly the whole of his body was ensconced in colored drawings but his back; apparently, he only liked his tattoos where he could see them without requiring two mirrors opposite each other as such would be the situation should he have his back painted - he actually thought it was a stupid idea. At this point, his attitude towards his tattoos could have proven Sarah Ruth`s unchanging opinion of it; that is, it was merely his "vanity of vanities;. As such, when in the end of the story, he decides to have his back finally painted - in a desperate manner, too - it was rather a very special case as we`ll find out in a while.
Indeed, Parker was a restless man because despite his obsession over his tattoos, he easily gets weary of them every time; for instance, if he gets a new tattoo now, it wouldn`t take him that much later to realize that he isn`t completely satisfied by it hence, the incessant desire to fill his bare skin with new ones. This went on deliberately, and quite carelessly, until he met Sarah Ruth.
Sarah Ruth was indubitably a religious woman. Her father was a Gospel preacher, spreading the word somewhere in Florida; it wasn`t particularly noted in the story but it is only reasonable to assume that he served as a great influence to Sarah Ruth`s r...
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