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Married to the Devil

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The story, “Parker’s Back” by Flanner O’Connor pertains to the story of Parker’s dissatisfaction with his life. The story begins by describing his disinterest in his “ugly” wife. Not only is she unattractive but also mean and now pregnant. Parker cannot conclude to why he stays with her. He conveys how unhappy she makes him, however he can’t seem to leave her side. Many times he contemplates about leaving her but lacks the courage or will. Therefore, relies on getting tattoos as a relief mechanism. Throughout the story he does everything possible in attempt to impress his wife, Sarah, she seems displeased with his every move. She is an extremely spiritual person and Parker conversely the opposite. One day he decides to tattoo Christ on his back to finally get her approval on something. To his surprise she becomes enraged and beats him. The central idea conveys that we have the tendency to rely on an alternative substance or action to fill up a void in our lives, however this is solidly temporary. O’Connor uses language devices such as irony, metaphors, symbolism and allusions to convey the story.

Throughout the story Parker’s dissatisfaction with life is an eminent concept. He is a lost soul, trying to find his place in the world. His unhappiness could be most credited to his wife, Sarah Ruth; a ruthless, coldhearted creature. “He was puzzled and ashamed of himself” this woman made him miserable, yet he “couldn’t understand why he stayed with her” (O’Connor 1). Later in the story we learn that his only outlet of his agonizing life is getting tattoos. However, that contentment wouldn’t last very long, after about a month “a huge dissatisfaction would come over him and he would go off – and have another space filled up” (O’Connor...

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...arker’s Back. Parker speaks a lot about his dissatisfaction with his overall life and is constantly trying to find an answer. Sara Ruth says many nagging things to Parker, which is very typical to what wife’s, tend to do. She believes to always be right and Parker to always be full of sin. This story’s dialogue seems somewhat realistic because I think there is actually couple’s that interact in this sort of way.

Works Cited

O’Connor, Flannery. “Parker’s Back”. Christian Brothers High school. CBHS. 2011. Web 21 Feb. 2011

“Corporal Mortification in Opus Dei”. ODAN Opus Dei Awareness Network. . Originally Written: June 3, 1998 Posted: May 13, 2002. Web. 18 March 2011.

“Burning Bush: Exodus 3:1-6, 14”. Children Sermons. 1999 by Jim Kerlin. Web. 22 March 2011.
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