The River, The Allure Of Gods Grace Essay

The River, The Allure Of Gods Grace Essay

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To some this story might seem like a tragedy, but to Christians this is a beautiful story. Although young Harry dies at the end, he is accepted into the kingdom of God, which is far superior to anything on Earth. A non-religious family raises him and the first taste of Christianity he gets makes him want to pursue God. In Flannery O’Conner’s short story, The River, the allure of Gods grace and the repelling of sinful ways are shown heavily through Harry.
In the beginning Harry is being picked up by Mrs. Connin and it immediately becomes obvious that his parents lives revolve around partying. After Henrys father does a terrible job of dressing him because he’s still half asleep from partying the night before Mrs. Connin says “I couldn’t smell those dead cigarette butts long if I was ever to come sit with you,” (O’Conner 1) to Harry. She says this to portray that the room smells like smoke and isn’t properly taken care of or a proper place for a 5-year-old boy to be living. Once they are in the car and headed to the house Mrs. Connin tells him to wipe his nose and “He began rubbing his sleeve across it but she stopped him. “That ain’t nice,” she said. “Where’s your handkerchief?”(O’Conner 1). This is another example the author is giving of how this boy isn’t being properly taught and cared for at home. His parents allow him to do these things because they aren’t focused on raising him properly but on partying. Once they arrive at the river the preacher is saying “If you just come to see can
Thompson 2
you leave your pain in the river, you ain’t come for Jesus. You can’t leave your pain in the river “(O’Conner 5) and the boy listens to him as he watches two doves flying over the trees. After a few more people talk an...


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...he was getting somewhere, all his fury and fear left him.”(O’conner 11). Henry at this point had achieved exactly what he came to the river for. Although he drowned in the water he did it with the intent to get closer to Jesus Christ and his kingdom and that’s what happened. O’Conner does an excellent job of portraying a young boy lost in the world with no guidance. Although he has both of his parents at home he is never taught correctly how to do a lot of things because his parents are to preoccupied with their life of partying.
In this story, Flannery O’Conner shows the desire God can place in our hearts to follow him and the sight that we are given once we follow in his steps. After one day of being taught about Christ, Henry changes his outlook on the way he wants to live his life. Henrys second baptism in the river brought him directly to the kingdom of God.

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