Attires as Source of Intrigue and Judgment Literature Assignment (Essay Sample)
Reading response blog - Everything That Rises Must Converge; Flannery O'Connor
You should not summarize or talk about “plot,” but rather highlight a particular aspect of craft as it pertains to character development, that interests you as a writer, or that as a reader enriches your reading experience and understanding of the story.
Here is an example from one of my classmates - do not copy it the professor has read theirs!
After reading the five short stories assigned to us, I grew confused as to whether Flannery O'Connor would consider herself a feminist or not. O'Connor has a prominent skill with developing dominant female characters, yet a majority of them die. She builds each character up, such as Mary Fortune or Mrs. May in, and they depict females with strong opinions and stubbornness. Regardless, the story ends with the female's death.
In the sole story in which we see a man dying, he is spared. In “The Enduring Chill”, the premise of the story is around the thought that Asbury is going to die shortly, and in the end it is an ongoing condition that will not kill him but be consistently present throughout his life. Each of the males in the stories had been angry or depressed but make it out alive, while the women who have reason to live end up dying.
I am wondering if this is supposed to represent women being belittled no matter the circumstance – always getting the short end of the stick. The deaths were always sudden, although foreshadowing is present in many stories. Could O'Connor have killed off these women in order to inform her audience of the unkindness and inconsideration being put on women and the unfairness of the inequality between the genders? Mrs. May from “Greenleaf”, for example, is an extremely hard worker but is hot-headed because she has no one who will assist her with the dairy or take care of it when she is gone. The repetitiveness of this thought after arguing with her sons foreshadows her impending death. She was working hard to make her dairy successful, get the bull off her property to keep her cattle intact, and in the end her death will lead to the fallout of the dairy because of her incompetent sons.
Because of the more obvious theme being racism throughout these stories, the theme of feminism is overshadowed. However, it is an interesting theme to explore further. I believe O'Connor's combination of issues played out successfully in her pieces. I was intrigued as a writer by O'Connor because of her braveness to tackle multiple social issues in her time.
In class on Monday, our professor told us to think about the order of the stories inside this collection. With this in mind, I took notes on each story and found two similarities between the short stories in the second half of the book that were different in the stories within the first half.
First, the presence of mother and son relationships was not found in any of the stories of the second half. In “The Lame Shall Enter First”, we see father and son relationships, in “Revelation” and “Parker's Back” we see a husband and wife relationship, and in “Judgement Day” we see a father and daughter relationship. While I found each of the stories interesting, my primary focus on this blog post will be about the stories involving a parent and their child.
In the “The Lame Shall Enter First” and “Judgement Day”, we are in the point of view of the parent. In a majority of the stories from the first half of the collection, the point of view was of the child. The differing mindsets of a parent and a child are well presented in all of these stories. In “The Lame Shall Enter First”, we get a parent's perspective of having a son who does not appreciate what he is given, as opposed to it being the child having a negative viewpoint of their parent. While we know based on the description of the Norton from Sheppard that Norton does not like him either, it is still not as clear as to why this is so since we are not given the child's perspective. In this relationship, or lack there of, there is a sense of greater power when the Norton is scolded. If this were a single mother yelling at her son, as in Julian and his mother's case in “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, the mother would be taken less seriously, as we had seen that Julian would roll his eyes and ignore his mother's “nonsense”. This idea of a power struggle can be seen not only in genders but also in ages. Because Norton is a child, Sheppard believes he has the ability to control his son more. In “Judgement Day”, the daughter is much older, therefore her father has less of a say in what she does. He can persuade her to bury him where he wishes by making her feel guilty, but as an adult she knows she can make her own decisions. In my opinion, the separation between the first half of the collection and the second half is mainly due to the type of relationship seen.
Secondly, I noted that the argument of God being real or not is stronger in the second half of the collection. It is so strong, in fact, that I am still unclear if she believed in God herself. In “Revelation”, Mrs. Turpin is extremely offended by the girl saying she was an old wart hog from hell. Therefore, she believes there is a heaven and hell, proving that she would be considered a religious woman. In “The Lame Shall Enter First”, the point of view of the story comes from a man who doesn't believe in Jesus's presence in the slightest. The most emotional scenes occur when there are arguments over whether Heaven and Hell exist. Christ is even tattooed on Parker's back in “Parker's Back”, which sparks drama in his marriage over what kind of God he believes in and the kind that Sarah Ruth believes in. In “Judgement Day”, the black man that Tanner calls The Preacher argues about him not being a Christian. There are numerous scenes in which the idea of God is brought up in the first half of the collection, but in the second half, there is much more arguing against the idea of a God present.
I found the split between the two halves of the collection to be intriguing as a writer because while all of these stories are unique in their own right, they can each be identified as O'Connor's work easily. After finishing the entire collection, I see O'Connor as a writer who in her writing challenged familial bonds and the truth behind God, which I believe was very controversial in her time.
Attires as Source of Intrigue and Judgment
Date of submission
Attires as Source of Intrigue and Judgment
Development of characters by Flannery O’Connor in her “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, has taken different ways, such as speech, thoughts, appearance, interests, behaviors and mannerism. Furthermore, the author has intertwined themes of mother-son relationship, tension, civil rights and confusion to show deception. However, I am fascinated by the author’s use of attires in developing characters as a way to induce intrigue among the audience.
Clothing and looks in "Everything That Rises Must Converge" play crucial roles. The setting itself is an environment full of perception and judgment. If one does not have a tie, then he is perceived in a different way compared to one in a suit. For examp...
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