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The Darkness of Irony in Flannery O'Connor's Short Stories

The central theme of Flannery O’Connor’s three short stories is irony. Her stories are parables, that is, short stories with a lesson to be learned. She was a writer who suffered from Lupus. Her father died of the same illness when she was thirteen. Her Catholic beliefs reflected in her work, as well as the implementation of violence and darkness ironically used in her short stories. The titles in the stories give the readers an idea that the stories are the opposite of what the titles really state. She uses metaphors and similes to describe the characters and the settings of the stories. Each story relates to the darkness of the characters: people with racial prejudice, ignorance, and evil. Each story ends in a tragedy. The use of irony allows her to transport a meaning to each story that is not easy for readers to understand. The first story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, is a story of Julian, a white college graduate, and his mother. Julian accompanies his mother to her YMCA classes because she did not like to take the bus alone. This short story takes place during the times of racial integration. Julian’s mother is racist, in contrast to Julian, who is a liberal. She dislikes the fact that blacks receive the same treatment. “It’s ridiculous. It’s simply not realistic. They should rise, yes, but on their side of the fence.”(O’Connor 653). One of the symbols used in this short story is the hat that Julian’s mother and the black woman on the bus wear. Ironically, these hats represent both women sharing the same rights and equalities; both races ride the same bus, sitting in the same seats; and both like the same fashions. Another symbol is the penny that Julian’s mother gives to the little black boy, representing th... ... middle of paper ... ...ory and Its Writer. Charters, Ann. Compact 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/ST. Martin's, 2011. 662-676. Print. O’Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” The Story and Its Writer. Charters, Ann. Compact 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/ST. Martin's, 2011. 676-687. Print. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." 123HelpMe.com. 11 Dec 2011 Works Cited O’Connor, Flannery. "Everything That Rises Must Converge.” The Story and Its Writer. Charters, Ann. Compact 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/ST. Martin's, 2011. 650-662. Print. O’Connor, Flannery. "Good Country People.” The Story and Its Writer. Charters, Ann. Compact 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/ST. Martin's, 2011. 662-676. Print. O’Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” The Story and Its Writer. Charters, Ann. Compact 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/ST. Martin's, 2011. 676-687. Print. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." 123HelpMe.com. 11 Dec 2011
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