The Geranium and Judgment Day Essay

The Geranium and Judgment Day Essay

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Flannery O’Connor’s short-story work occurred during the 1950s and 1960s, a time in which race caused significant tensions among Americans. Raised in the south, Flannery grew up in an atmosphere of overt racism and Catholic fervor. Both of these influences affected the way she wrote. Flannery O'Connor conveyed both her moral and religious values in her writing, and she consistently wrote about religion and race within this narrow perspective. “Many of my ardent admirers would be roundly shocked and disturbed if they realized that everything I believe is thoroughly moral, thoroughly Catholic, and that it is these beliefs that give my work its chief characteristics” (O'Connor Habit 147–8).She showed this narrowness repeatedly by her choice of themes, styles and views, and included them in stories such as “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” “The Geranium,” “The Artificial Nigger,” and “Judgment Day.”
Flannery O'Connor was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. She was raised by her mother and father, though a hereditary disease, lupus, took her father away from her at the age of fifteen. Her religion came directly from the Bible Belt, and her views on race reflected the issues going on at the time. She witnessed the first black Americans go to the world championships, the KKK tormenting of black Americans, Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for black American’s rights, and the beginning of the de-segregation of society. At the time, many white Americans in the south rebelled against the tide of racism, and O’Connor was drawn to this moral stance. She wrote her short stories during this time period, a writer clearly enmeshed in the social, juristic and economical events of her time. O'Connor's subject in her fiction, she once said,...


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...ople are often classified with more than one ethnicity in America. Does that stop society from making comparisons between races? No, it does not. The United States President, Barack Obama, is known as the first black president. Technically, he is the first black president but there is no need to bring up his race. The color he does not seem to affect the decisions he makes. Society is still just as guilty of trying to make ethnicity an easy thing to understand.
We are all blameworthy of making assumptions off of race or religion and refusing to acknowledge the individual truths that lie beyond those things. So, as we continue to teeter along that wall between as racism and acceptance, think of Flannery O'Connor's writing. Holding views for one side while sympathizing with the other is something that has been around for centuries. She, however, made it an art form.

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