A Late Encounter With the Enemy by Flannery O’Connor Essay

A Late Encounter With the Enemy by Flannery O’Connor Essay

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Sothern gothic literature that include Works like Flannery O’Connor’s “A Late encounter with the enemy” incorporates the idea of “investigating madness, decay and despair, and the continuing pressures of the past upon the present, particularly with respect to the lost ideals of a dispossessed Southern aristocracy and to the continuance of racial hostilities.”(Marshall 3). These ideas all share a common theme that O’Connor brings to the table in “A Late Encounter with the enemy, along with “The American South serves as the nation’s ‘other,’ becoming the repository of everything from which the nation wants to disassociate itself” (Marshall 3–4). But in true Gothic fashion, the horrors of the past continue to dominate the present.” (Marshall 12). Flannery O’Connor gives readers insight into the life of the granddaughter Sally Poker Sash and how she heavily relies on her families past lineage to shape her present and future in this southern gothic horror (O’Connor 87).
Traditionally, in the deep modern south people still hang onto past beliefs. The characters in O’Connor’s “A Late Encounter with the enemy” lag behind to where society is in their present time, like the granddaughter Sally Poker Sash who is in her sixties and is still trying to get her degree in education “for the past twenty summers, when she should have been resting, She had had to take a trunk in the burning heat to the state teacher’s college” (O’ Connor 88). The granddaughter has had a career as a teacher her entire life, but still hasn’t gotten her degree, and her teaching methods have stayed the same “and though when she returned in the fall, she always taught in the exact way she had been taught not to teach, this was a mild revenge that didn’t satisfy her sense...


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...her is already dead when he is receiving this epiphany and is greeting his wife and his son that he had lost long ago (O’Connor 94).
In conclusion, O’Connor uses this story to show that the south is hard to change and clings to its roots of the Pre-Civil War era. The grandfather is the character everyone leans on as a living historical figure of a time long past, trying to be remembered.



Works Cited
Gordon, Sarah, and NGE Staff, eds. "Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964." New Georgia Encyclopedia. Georgia College and State University, 21 Aug 2013. Web. 1 Feb 2014. .
Marshall, Bridget M. "Defining Southern Gothic." Critical Insights: Southern Gothic Literature (2013): 3-18. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 1 Feb. 2014
O’ Connor, Flannery, A Late Encounter With The Enemy (1953)


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