flannery oconner: queen of irony Essay

flannery oconner: queen of irony Essay

Length: 1755 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Flannery O’Connor: Queen of Irony

The literary rebellion, known as realism, established itself in American writing as a direct response to the age of American romanticism’s sentimental and sensationalist prose. As the dominance of New England’s literary culture waned “a host of new writers appeared, among them Bret Harte, William Dean Howells, and Mark Twain, whose background and training, unlike those of the older generation they displaced, were middle-class and journalistic rather than genteel or academic” (McMichael 6). These authors moved from tales of local color fiction to realistic and truthful depictions of the complete panorama of American experience. They wrote about uniquely American subjects in a humorous and everyday language, replete with their character’s misdeeds and shortcomings. Their success in creating this plain but descriptive language, the language of the common man, signaled the end of American reverence for British and European culture and for the more formal use of language associated with those traditions. In essence, these new authors “had what [the author] Henry James called “a powerful impulse to mirror the unmitigated realities of life,” in contrast to the romanticist’s insistence “on the author’s rights to avoid representations of “squalid misery” and to present instead an idealized and “poetic” portrait of life” (McMichael 6).
In contrast to their romantic and realist predecessors, the literary naturalists “emphasized that the world was amoral, that men and women had no freewill, that their lives were controlled by hereditary and the environment, that religious “truths” were illusory, [and] that the destiny of humanity was misery in life and oblivion in death” (McMichael 7). The naturalist writer Stephen Crane, for instance, explored the absurdity of the human condition. His writing most often portrayed humanity as lonesome singular entities relying on their unproven belief in the benevolence of God and freewill, led by their persistent illusions of being the center of the universe, and clueless to the disparity between their greatest expectations and their equalizing bouts of impendent doom. These realist and naturalist writers, with their revolutionary new method of portraying humanity as capable of evil and as likely victims of an often tempestuous environment or seemingly spiteful heredity, were a powerful influence on...


... middle of paper ...


...pocrisies of her southern environment. In the last year of her life O’Connor wrote, “You write. . ., what you can. And you become, we can further infer, what you can” (Fitzgerald xix).
It was the civil rights leader Martin Luther King who said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Faced with a sure knowledge of impending death from an incurable disease and a South blinded by its hypocrisies and lies, Flannery O’Connor challenged the mores and conventions of her time to emerge a literary visionary and a true example of the best that American literature has to offer. The author used “the prevailing locution of the South as easily, and as maliciously, as it often occurs there, among blacks and whites alike” (Fitzgerald xix). She spit into the wind of amorality and sin the consequences be damned despite the fact that in her time she was an outsider as a women, a southerner, and a Roman Catholic in the South. Her [natural] gifts produced the fiction, but her situation gave them opportunities, and enabled her to exercise her intelligence, imagination, and craft most effectively (Hyman 46).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Irony : Flannery O ' Connor And Zora Neale Hurston Essay

- Irony make things appear to be what it is not. Flannery O’Connor and Zora Neale Hurston are two ironic authors in literature. O’Connor was a devout Roman Catholic, with a southern upbringing (Whitt); whereas “Hurston is a disciple of the greatest dead white European male, authors, a connoisseur of macho braggadocio, and a shamelessly conservative Republican who scorned victimism and leftist conformism (Sailer). Both O’Connor and Hurston use irony in their short stories; however, they use it in significantly similar ways....   [tags: KILL, Irony, Sarcasm, Short story]

Powerful Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)

Irony and Foreshadowing in Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find

- As I read Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, I find myself being completely consumed by the rich tale that the author weaves; a tragic and ironic tale that concisely and precisely utilizes irony and foreshadowing with expert skill. As the story progresses, it is readily apparent that the story will end in a tragic and predictable state due to the devices which O’Connor expertly employs and thusly, I find that I cannot stop reading it; the plot grows thicker with every sentence and by doing so, the characters within the story are infinitely real in my mind’s eye....   [tags: Irony, Foreshadowing]

Powerful Essays
1618 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Flannery O ' Connor

- Anyone who has had the opportunity to take time to read and work with the fiction of Flannery O 'Connor, cannot fail to be impressed by the level of quality in its production. According to Michael Meyer in his book The Bedford Introduction to literature, “Despite her brief life and relatively modest output her work is regarded among the most distinguished American fiction of the mid-twentieth century.” She wrote two novels and a total of thirty one short stories (420). Critics, reviewers, including sophisticated readers use the word powerful to describe her work....   [tags: Short story, Flannery O'Connor]

Powerful Essays
869 words (2.5 pages)

Irony : Irony And Irony Essay

- IRONY Definition of irony Irony is a common literary term and rhetoric device. Whether in fiction, non-fiction, or in life, irony is around us day to day. There are three main types of irony. The type most commonly thought of in story telling is called dramatic irony, but there is also verbal and situational irony. The following presentation aims to explore and explain the deeper layers of meaning in life and literature through irony. So what exactly is irony. The term irony has its roots in the Greek comic character Eiron, a clever underdog who by his wit repeatedly triumphs over the boastful character Alazon....   [tags: Irony, Fiction, Meaning of life, Iago]

Powerful Essays
2014 words (5.8 pages)

An Analysis Of Flannery O ' Connor Essay

- A story without style is like a man without personality: useless and boring. However, Flannery O’Connor incorporates various different styles in her narratives. Dark humor, irony, and symbolism are perhaps the utmost powerful and common styles in her writing. From “Revelation” and “Good Country People” to “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” all of O’Connor’s stories consist of different styles in writing. Dark humor plays an important role in O’Connor’s novels. Instead of simply stating the character’s cruelty in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” O’Connor chooses to reveal it through the use of dark humor....   [tags: Comedy, Irony, Sarcasm, Humor]

Powerful Essays
865 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Definition of Irony

- Definition of Irony Irony is a word that has been around in my life since I was six years old. I remember it exactly, the day that the word entered my vocabulary. My mom and I were driving to my grandma’s house and I was reading a “Calvin and Hobbes” comic from the paper earlier that morning. Calvin had been saving a snowball in the freezer for 4 months and was going to use it. He snuck up on his nemesis, Suzy, and threw it as hard as he could, and missed. He goes into hysterics, wondering how he could have missed that perfect shot, while, at the same time Suzy is scooping up the pile of snow lying in front of her....   [tags: Irony Definition Essays]

Powerful Essays
656 words (1.9 pages)

Irony in Oedipus And Story Of An Hour Essay

- Literature allows people to experience and learn life’s lessons through text. One of the most commonly used literary devices is irony. Irony can be defined as the difference between appearance and reality, or when a reader expects or assumes one thing and the opposite is true. It allows an author to engage and surprise the audience, which often also teaches an important lesson. Two classic examples of irony through literature are Oedipus the King by Sophocles and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin....   [tags: Chopin Sophocles Irony]

Powerful Essays
1336 words (3.8 pages)

The Power and Genius of Alexander Pushkin’s The Queen of Spades Essay

- The Power and Genius of Alexander Pushkin’s The Queen of Spades In Alexander Pushkin’s “The Queen of Spades,” many aspects of the short story have made for considerable debate among scholars.  Pushkin fills an integral role in Russian literary history, and there are abundant research sources to use in analyzing and interpreting his texts.  Pushkin is often referred to as the Father of Modern Russian Literature, but until just recently much of the criticism on Pushkin focused on Pushkin himself as the author, the innovative simplicity in his prose, or the political relationship between Pushkin and the Russian aristocracy.  Pushkin’s personal life was often the subject of public debate among...   [tags: Queen Spades]

Powerful Essays
5718 words (16.3 pages)

Good Country People by Flannery OConnor Characterization as Theme Essay

- Good Country People by Flannery OConnor Characterization as Theme The Depth of Hulga?s Despair Characterization is the most prevalent component used for the development of themes in Flannery O?Connor?s satirical short story ?Good Country People.. O?Connor artistically cultivates character development throughout her story as a means of creating multi-level themes that culminate in allegory. Although the themes are independent of each other, the characters are not; the development of one character is dependent upon the development of another....   [tags: essays papers]

Powerful Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about Flannery OConnor

- Flannery OConnor In her short story "Everything That Rises Must Converge," Flannery O'Connor allows the story to be told from the perspective of Julian, a recent college graduate who appears to be waiting for a job, while living at home with his mother. His relationship with his mother is rocky at times, to say the least. It is constantly mired with conflicts about the "Old South" and the "New South". Julian must come to terms with himself, either he is an over protective son or just a pain in her ass....   [tags: essays papers]

Powerful Essays
805 words (2.3 pages)