Day 4

Flannery O'Connor's Stories Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    In the final scene of "The River," how does O’Connor depict the drowning from the viewpoint of the boy? Of Mr. Paradise? 

    O’Connor presents the act of the boy drowning as a pleasant change that will take him away from the sordid life he is forced to live with his parents. The current is described as "a long gentle hand," and when Harry drowns he is "overcome with surprise," and then "all his fury and fear left him." To the small boy, Mr. Paradise looks like a pig, something unclean and dangerous, instead of a would-be savior. In contrast, Mr. Paradise is described as an "ancient water monster." The way O’Connor describes the old man trying to save...

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