Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

This paper analyzes the works of Flannery O’Connor, noting the absence of a father figure in many of her short stories. This absence leads to an exploration of how this affects her characters, as well as a parental absence in her personal life. This paternal gap allows O’Connor, who claimed to write about grace, to close the paternal hole with a Heavenly Father. The Bible, as well as Catholic beliefs, are used to illustrate this Christian belief. The paper goes on to explore three of O’Connor’s short stories: “Greenleaf,” “The Enduring Chill,” and “Parker’s Back”. Careful analysis of the children in these stories, and the effects of living in fatherless homes, serve to support my thesis: that O’Connor, traditionally known for ending her stories in moments of grace or revelation, actually brings her fatherless characters to God the Father.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Jeffrey Tucker

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O'Connor's Search For the Father

This paper analyzes the works of Flannery O’Connor, noting the absence of a father figure in many of her short stories. This absence leads to an exploration of how this affects her characters, as well as a parental absence in her personal life. This paternal gap allows O’Connor, who claimed to write about grace, to close the paternal hole with a Heavenly Father. The Bible, as well as Catholic beliefs, are used to illustrate this Christian belief. The paper goes on to explore three of O’Connor’s short stories: “Greenleaf,” “The Enduring Chill,” and “Parker’s Back”. Careful analysis of the children in these stories, and the effects of living in fatherless homes, serve to support my thesis: that O’Connor, traditionally known for ending her stories in moments of grace or revelation, actually brings her fatherless characters to God the Father.