Is Seeing Believing? Essay

Is Seeing Believing? Essay

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In today's society you would be hard pressed to find an individual who lives their entire life on the sole concept of blind faith. From the moment a child is born, he or she is constantly exploring what's beyond the great horizons by relying on their developing senses. However, as we grow older we begin to question the validity of our senses. As writer Flannery O' Connor stated," The things we see, smell, and touch, affect us long before we believe anything at all. ( DiYanni 169) So how do we know what we perceive is what is occurring?
Manipulation of the senses through symbolism, imagery, and detail observation is a tool that Flannery O' Connor has artfully mastered. Throughout her works we are introduced to characters who see society based from a somewhat distorted view that has been developed over time. Displayed prominently in her short story, " Good Country People"; each character creates thoughts and opinions based from knowledge, past experiences, and stereotypes; rather than face value observation. However, as the story continues the primary character (Hulga) is faced with the blaring truth that her senses and intellect had failed her, leaving her vulnerable and questioning the reliability of her, "finely tuned" senses. Such is the same for the character of the grand mother in O'Connor's short story, " A Good Man is Hard to Find." Her yearn for the nogstalia of the past and intrusive and over bearing nature allowed her senses to be manipulated into believing that people who had proper upbringing were good civilized people. However, staying true to the O' Connor style she is also betrayed by her perceptions causing her to live out the last moments of her life staring at the face of a cold hearted killer.
O' Connor's l...


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...) O' Connor's keen attention to the everyday details is what allows the reader to fall into a false sense of security, until the moment of redemption is placed upon us and we are left just as confused and vulnerable as the protagonists of O' Connor's southern salvation. We are simply left to ponder, is seeing truly believing?



Works Cited
Bleikasten, André. "Beginnings and Endings in Flannery O'Connor." Mississippi Quarterly 59.1 (2005): 177-86. Print.
Candler Jr., Peter M. "The Anagogical Imagination of Flannery O'Connor." Christianity & Literature 60.1 (2010): 11-33. Print.
DiYanni, Robert. Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Eds. Emily Barrosse, Bennett Morrison, and Jean Dal Porto. 2nd ed. 1 Vol. New York, NY: Mc Graw Hill, 2008. Print.
Katz, Claire. "Flannery O'Connor's Rage of Vision." American Literature 46.1 (1974): 54. Print.

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