Flannery O'Connor's Stories

Flannery O'Connor's Intellectuals: Exposing Her World's Narrow "Field of Vision"

Flannery O'Connor's Intellectuals: Exposing Her World's Narrow "Field of Vision"

by, Robin K. Brubaker

June 24, 2004

Some critics would argue that a fiction writer's Christianity, or understanding of ultimate reality in terms of the Fall of humankind and redemption through Jesus Christ, automatically disconnects that writer from "reality" as the modern world defines and experiences it, thereby confining that writer's work within a closed system of possibilities and purpose. Yet Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor argues directly against this notion in her prose, creatively demonstrating the scope and wholeness of her vision. Perhaps the modern "horror" she found to be most contrary to her faith and vision was her world's belief in the self-sufficiency of the human individual apart from God. John F. Desmond believes the motivation behind her work was "rooted in the fact that the age speciously believed in its own capacity for achieving wholeness exclusive of the divine, a situation she found truly grotesque" (53). While this general human tendency to rely on oneself rather than God as the source of truth and fulfillment in life is hardly a modern development,...

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