Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Creator / FlanneryOConnor

Go To



* DeepSouth: Only one of O'Connor's stories takes place outside the South, and the main characters of that one are transplanted Southerners anyway.

to:

* DeepSouth: Only one of O'Connor's stories takes place outside the South, and the main characters of that one are [[CreatorProvincialism transplanted Southerners Southerners]] anyway.



* DumbIsGood: "Everything That Rises Must Converge" deals with a conflict between an "enlightened" young man and his more down-to-earth mother. The young man turns out to be an infantile hypocrite who justifies his pettiness with his "education." Some ValuesDissonance may come into play, too, since the relatively sympathetic mother happens to be pretty blatantly racist.
** YMMV: The mother's racism is not downplayed or excused, and readers can understand why her son finds her difficult to deal with.

to:

* DumbIsGood: "Everything That Rises Must Converge" deals with a conflict between an "enlightened" young man and his more down-to-earth mother. The young man turns out to be an infantile hypocrite who justifies his pettiness with his "education." Some ValuesDissonance values dissonance may come into play, too, since the relatively sympathetic mother happens to be pretty blatantly racist.
** YMMV: The
racist – although the mother's racism is not downplayed or excused, and readers can understand why her son finds her difficult to deal with.



* EnfantTerrible: There are so many dreadful little monsters in her short stories [[spoiler: Steal from you? check. Burn down your farm? check. Talk your son into hanging himself? brrr. check.]]

to:

* EnfantTerrible: There are so many dreadful little monsters in her short stories stories. [[spoiler: Steal from you? check. Burn down your farm? check. Talk your son into hanging himself? brrr. Brrr.....check.]]


* EsotericHappyEnding: O'Connor famously insisted that she was a writer of comedies. Yes, her protagonists have a habit of losing everything they ever thought they needed or valued—their possessions, their dignity, their self-image, even their lives. They may end up ridiculous, humiliated, wounded or dying ... but stripped of all false dignity, self-deception, and internal barricades, open at last to the [[GoodIsNotNice onslaught of God's grace]].



** The Misfit, from "A Good Man is Hard to Find", is a dangerous, nihilistic atheist. He decided at an early age that if Jesus never died on the cross, then there's no reason to do anything at all but enjoy himself the only way he knew how: [[{{Anvilicious}} killing]]. The story may have been a reaction to the rise of existentialism in literature.

to:

** The Misfit, from "A Good Man is Hard to Find", is a dangerous, nihilistic atheist. He decided at an early age that if Jesus never died on the cross, then there's no reason to do anything at all but enjoy himself the only way he knew how: [[{{Anvilicious}} killing]].killing. The story may have been a reaction to the rise of existentialism in literature.


Added DiffLines:

* MeaningfulEcho: A subtle example occurs in "The Lame Shall Enter First." Sheppard's teenage ward Rufus is arrested and openly resents his benefactor's attempts to "save" him, but Sheppard justifies himself by saying "I did more for him than I did for my own son." When Rufus is gone, Sheppard repeats the sentence back to himself, realizing that he actually neglected his son Norton, and goes to console the child. [[spoiler:It's too late.]]

Added DiffLines:

* CreepyChild: Eight-year-old Mary Fortune in "A View of the Woods." She's unnervingly similar to her [[ThePatriarch morally bankrupt grandfather]] [[GenerationXerox in looks and personality]]. The grandfather dotes on her because he believes [[FollowInMyFootsteps she has his business acumen]] and because he can use [[ManipulativeBastard their relationship to manipulate Mary's family]]. But that doesn't explain why Mary [[DontMakeMeTakeMyBeltOff denies that her father beats her]] and threatens to kill anyone who tries. [[spoiler:She also puts up a decent fight against her grandfather when he does try to beat her, and he [[OffingtheOffspring kills her in a fit of rage]]. But she makes good her word when he dies of a massive heart attack as a result.]]


* FatBastard: In "A Hard Man is Good to Find," Bobby Lee (one of The Misfit's two henchmen). Really though, it could be applied to Bailey and John Wesley as well.

to:

* FatBastard: In "A Hard Good Man is Good Hard to Find," Bobby Lee (one of The Misfit's two henchmen). Really though, it could be applied to Bailey and John Wesley as well.


Though her stories were full of symbolism and metaphor, O'Connor had little patience for those who tried to over-analyze what she saw as the clear message of her work. She was once asked, about her short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find," [[WildMassGuessing "what is the meaning of the Misfit's hat?"]] [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic The question both confused and amused her.]] [[ShrugOfGod "To put on his head,"]] she replied.

to:

Though her stories were full of symbolism and metaphor, O'Connor had little patience for those who [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory tried to over-analyze what she saw as the clear message of her work. work]]. She was once asked, about her short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find," [[WildMassGuessing "what is the meaning of the Misfit's hat?"]] [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic [[FauxSymbolism The question both confused and amused her.]] [[ShrugOfGod "To put on his head,"]] she replied.


* NWordPrivileges: Prolific use of the n-word in dialogue, but as a realistic depiction of the vernacular of the era and region. Even makes the title of one of her short stories ("The Artificial Nigger").

to:

* NWordPrivileges: Prolific use of the n-word in dialogue, but as a realistic depiction (in every sense of the word) of the vernacular of the era and region. Even makes the title of one of her short stories ("The Artificial Nigger").


** The girl in "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" is sweet, blue-eyed and blonde, but she's also mentally handicapped and she can't talk, she just makes weird grotesque noises. Her older mother tries to marry her off to a guy who came to their farm and was hired as a temporary worker.

to:

** The girl in "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" is sweet, blue-eyed and blonde, but she's also mentally handicapped and she can't talk, she just makes weird grotesque weird, [[RunningGag realistic]] noises. Her older mother tries to marry her off to a guy who came to their farm and was hired as a temporary worker.


* RacistGrandma: Played very seriously in "Everything That Rises Must Converge", which centers around a fifty-some year old man taking his elderly mother on a bus ride to the YMCA. While on the bus, the old woman condescendingly offers a little black boy a penny, and gets struck with a heavy purse and insulted by the boy's mother. After getting off the bus, the woman's son confronts her about her racism and she is implied to have a stroke in response.

to:

* RacistGrandma: Played very seriously in "Everything That Rises Must Converge", which centers around a fifty-some year old young man who recently graduated college taking his elderly old-fashioned mother on a bus ride to the YMCA. While on the bus, the old woman condescendingly offers a little black boy a penny, and gets struck with a heavy purse and insulted by the boy's mother. After getting off the bus, the woman's son confronts her about her racism and she is implied to have a stroke in response.


* FatBastard: In "A Hard Man is Good to Find," Bobby Lee (one of The Misfit's two henchmen). Really though, it could be applied to Bailey and John Wesley as well.



* RacistGrandma: Played very seriously in "Everything That Rises Must Converge", which centers around a fifty-some year old man taking his elderly mother on a bus ride to the YMCA. While on the bus, the old woman condescendingly offers a little black boy a penny, and gets called on it by the boy's mother. After getting off the bus, the woman's son confronts her about her racism and she is implied to have a stroke in response.

to:

* RacistGrandma: Played very seriously in "Everything That Rises Must Converge", which centers around a fifty-some year old man taking his elderly mother on a bus ride to the YMCA. While on the bus, the old woman condescendingly offers a little black boy a penny, and gets called on it struck with a heavy purse and insulted by the boy's mother. After getting off the bus, the woman's son confronts her about her racism and she is implied to have a stroke in response.


Flannery O'Connor lived in rural Georgia in the middle of the 20th century and wrote two collections of extraordinarily realistic short stories and two novels in the course of her very short life (she died in 1964 at the age of 39). From the mindset of her deep Catholic faith; her intimate and perceptive knowledge of the culture, mores, and personalities of the Deep South; and shaded by her long battle with lupus (which eventually killed her), she wove tales replete with deeply dysfunctional, highly flawed, and bizarre characters, many adhering to an unconventional or twisted form of fundamentalist Christianity. And many who died [[RunningGag realistic]] deaths.

to:

Mary Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) lived in rural Georgia in the middle of the 20th century and wrote two collections of extraordinarily realistic short stories and two novels in the course of her very short life (she died in 1964 at the age of 39). From the mindset of her deep Catholic faith; her intimate and perceptive knowledge of the culture, mores, and personalities of the Deep South; and shaded by her long battle with lupus (which eventually killed her), she wove tales replete with deeply dysfunctional, highly flawed, and bizarre characters, many adhering to an unconventional or twisted form of fundamentalist Christianity. And many who died [[RunningGag realistic]] deaths.


* HollywoodAtheist: There are a few of these in her work, to the point where you know that any character who's got more than a high school education is almost certain to get a serious dose of BreakTheHaughty by the end.

to:

* HollywoodAtheist: There are a few of these FarmersDaughter: She tends to pop up in Flannery O'Connor's stories, except she's usually damaged in some way, and usually both physically and emotionally.
** Joy Hopewell from "Good Country People" lost a leg in a hunting accident and she has a bad eye-sight. She sees herself as a crippled woman and changed
her work, name to Hulga because it sounds so very ugly. One Travelling Agent takes an advantage of her sexually, though it was voluntary from her side. He collects prosthetics from his lovers/victims and he takes Hulga's leg.
** The girl in "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" is sweet, blue-eyed and blonde, but she's also mentally handicapped and she can't talk, she just makes weird grotesque noises. Her older mother tries to marry her off to a guy who came to their farm and was hired as a temporary worker.
* HollywoodAtheist:
** The Misfit, from "A Good Man is Hard to Find", is a dangerous, nihilistic atheist. He decided at an early age that if Jesus never died on the cross, then there's no reason to do anything at all but enjoy himself the only way he knew how: [[{{Anvilicious}} killing]]. The story may have been a reaction
to the point where you know that any character rise of existentialism in literature.
** "Good Country People" features the protagonist as [[ItAmusedMe a grumpy atheist, who mainly does it to annoy people]], attempting to "convert" (read: seduce, then crush his beliefs) a seemingly wholesome Southern boy
who's got the fire of Jesus in him, selling Bibles for a living. It turns out the Southern boy is much, ''much'' more atheistic than a high school education her, and is almost certain to get a serious dose of BreakTheHaughty by nihilist who steals disabled peoples' prosthetics ForTheEvulz. Like the end.protagonist's fake leg.
** "The Lame Shall Enter First" features a more positive, humanistic atheist faced with a cloven-footed character who claims to be a Satanist. The Satanist comes across as the wiser of the two: at least he knows how the battle lines are drawn.
** A (kind of) positive portrayal of an atheist (sort of) is the title character from ''Parker's Back'', although he's more agnostic, being vaguely spiritual but not believing in gods and basically treating tattoos as his religion. He's married to a shrewish hateful Christian woman who hates things that aren't Christian and [[TautologicalTemplar if she hates something it isn't Christian]]. Also, she falls into heresy. It isn't clear if it's Arianism (denying that Jesus is fully God) or Docetism (denying that He is fully human), but one or the other.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: The mother and son in "Everything That Rises Must Converge" live in the Southern U.S. in the '60s. They are poor, but she grew up rich in a mansion full of black servants. She tells her son that what matters is who your family is. He's a liberal intellectual who rebels against her. (O'Connor is full of contempt for both of them.)



* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: ''The Artificial Nigger''.



* KarmaHoudini: In "A Good Man Is Hard To Find", The Misfit murders a family in cold blood with no consequences whatsoever (physically, anyway).



* MeaningfulName: A good many of her characters have symbolic names; some subtle, many blatantly so.

to:

* MeaningfulName: A good many of her characters have symbolic names; some subtle, many blatantly so.In "Good Country People", guess what traveling bible salesman Manley Pointer's ulterior motive is?


Added DiffLines:

* RacistGrandma: Played very seriously in "Everything That Rises Must Converge", which centers around a fifty-some year old man taking his elderly mother on a bus ride to the YMCA. While on the bus, the old woman condescendingly offers a little black boy a penny, and gets called on it by the boy's mother. After getting off the bus, the woman's son confronts her about her racism and she is implied to have a stroke in response.


Added DiffLines:

* SerialKiller: The Misfit in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find".


Added DiffLines:

* SomebodyDoesntLoveRaymond: In "Revelation", smug Ruby Turpin is the well-bred wife of a successful farmer and highly respected by her town and church; she seldom lets anyone forget how blessed by God she is. Everyone goes along with this and with her constant passing judgments until a girl from a white-trash background insults Mrs. Turpin and hurls her philosophy book at her. (It's implied the girl is mentally disturbed.) Shaken, the older woman returns home, refusing any consolation, shouting at her black farm help who keep saying they admire her. Ultimately the girl's words leave Mrs. Turpin severely upset, recoiling at the unpleasant truths she sees about herself and railing at God.



Her novel ''Literature/WiseBlood'' has its own page.


----
!!Associated Tropes:

to:

\nHer novel ''Literature/WiseBlood'' has its ---
!!Works by Flannery O'Connor with their
own page.


----
!!Associated Tropes:
pages:
* ''Literature/WiseBlood''

!!Other works by Flannery O'Connor contain examples of:



* DeadpanSnarker: Flannery O'Connor herself, as well as many of her characters.
* DeathEqualsRedemption: From the woman herself: "Lots of people die in my stories, but nobody gets hurt."

to:

* DeadpanSnarker: Flannery O'Connor herself, as well as many DeathOfAChild:
** Though "offscreen," this occurs in [[spoiler:"A Good Man Is Hard To Find." Three times]].
** [[spoiler:"A View
of her characters.
* DeathEqualsRedemption: From
the woman herself: "Lots of people die in my stories, but nobody gets hurt."Woods"]].
** [[spoiler:"The Lame Shall Enter First"]].



* InfantImmortality: Though "offscreen," this is subverted in [[spoiler: "A Good Man Is Hard To Find." Three times.]]
** Also subverted in [[spoiler: "A View of the Woods"]] and [[spoiler: "The Lame Shall Enter First"]].



* KillEmAll: "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," natch.

to:

* KillEmAll: "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," natch.Find".



* RedemptionEqualsDeath: In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the grandmother in a genuine moment of kindness calls the Misfit one of her own children and touches him on the shoulder. [[spoiler: He immediately shoots her in the chest three times. Seeing as she may have died in a state of grace, however, this may also be an example of DeathEqualsRedemption.]]

to:

* RedemptionEqualsDeath: In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the grandmother in a genuine moment of kindness calls the Misfit one of her own children and touches him on the shoulder. [[spoiler: He immediately shoots her in the chest three times. Seeing as she may have died in a state of grace, however, this may also be an example of DeathEqualsRedemption.]]

Added DiffLines:

* ItsAllAboutMe: Julian in "Everything That Rises Must Converge" is a [[{{Hypocrite}} hypocritical]] version of this. His concern for equal rights is purely about getting back at his mother.


Added DiffLines:

* KnowNothingKnowItAll: Julian in "Everything That Rises Must Converge" fancies himself to be well-educated, but has a narrow, closed-off view of the world that prevents him from doing anything with that education.


* CosmicHorrorStory: The ethos behind her work, that Faith can be horrifying and even damaging to Human sanity and yet is vital to the survival of the human spirit actually manages to turn Christianity itself into something that's almost Lovecraftian.
** Although there are some that say that is ''exactly'' what Christianity (and by extension, Judaism) are ''supposed'' to be; consider the [[EldritchAbomination descriptions of God and the angels]] in Literature/TheBible to get an idea.

to:

* CosmicHorrorStory: The ethos behind her work, Her work suggests that Faith God's grace is vital to human nature and the human soul, but can also be horrifying and even damaging to Human sanity and yet is vital to the survival of the from a human spirit actually manages perspective, even dangerous to turn Christianity itself into something that's one's sanity. It draws on implications in Judeo-Christian scripture (fully orthodox implications, moreover) that can make God seem almost Lovecraftian.
** Although there are some that say that is ''exactly'' what Christianity (and by extension, Judaism) are ''supposed'' to be; consider the
[[EldritchAbomination descriptions of God and the angels]] in Literature/TheBible to get an idea.Lovecraftian]].


* BreakTheHaughty: This is the central trope of nearly every single O'Connor story and novel, and--in her theology--one of God's central missions concerning us. It would be easier to list her works that ''don't'' open with a proud, absurdly self-concerned protagonist, and that ''don't'' end with the same protagonist broken, pitiful, ridiculous, maybe even dying ... but stripped of false dignity, self-deception, and internal barricades, open at last to the terrible incursion of God's grace.
* CosmicHorrorStory: The ethos behind her work, that Faith can be horrifying and even damaging to Human sanity and yet is vital to the survival of the Human Spirit actually manages to turn Christianity itself into something that's almost Lovecraftian.

to:

* BreakTheHaughty: This is the central trope of nearly every single O'Connor story and novel, and--in her theology--one of God's central missions concerning us. It would be easier to list her works that ''don't'' open with a proud, absurdly self-concerned protagonist, and that ''don't'' end with the same protagonist broken, pitiful, and ridiculous, maybe even dying ... but stripped of false dignity, self-deception, and internal barricades, open at last to the terrible incursion of God's grace.
dying or dead.
* CosmicHorrorStory: The ethos behind her work, that Faith can be horrifying and even damaging to Human sanity and yet is vital to the survival of the Human Spirit human spirit actually manages to turn Christianity itself into something that's almost Lovecraftian.


Added DiffLines:

* EsotericHappyEnding: O'Connor famously insisted that she was a writer of comedies. Yes, her protagonists have a habit of losing everything they ever thought they needed or valued—their possessions, their dignity, their self-image, even their lives. They may end up ridiculous, humiliated, wounded or dying ... but stripped of all false dignity, self-deception, and internal barricades, open at last to the [[GoodIsNotNice onslaught of God's grace]].

Showing 15 edit(s) of 49

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report