Social Groups In Flannery O Connor's Short Stories

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Leonard Bode IB English HL Year 1 Mr. Locke 14th May 2015 Written Task 2 Part 4 Prescribed question: Which social groups are marginalized, excluded, or silenced within the text? Primary source text: Flannery O'Conner short stories My critical response will: show which social groups the author marginalizes, excludes, or silences show how the 'outcasts' are excluded show how African-Americans are marginalized explain why the author chose these groups 68 words There are two social groups in particular which Flannery O'Conner marginalizes, excludes, or silences within her short stories. They are treated this way because they do not conform with societal expectations and normality. These two social groups are the 'outcasts' (the disabled…show more content…
Shiftlet is an amputee, he is missing an arm. In the same story, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, Lucynell Crater is mentally handicapped. Tom Shiftlet is a disenchanted handicapped handyman, which brings up a major theme in Flannery O'Conner's short stories, disgust with the world. In The Life You Save May Be Your Own Mr. Shiftlet says to Lucynell's mother that “Nothing is like it used to be, lady... The world is almost rotten” (The Life You Save May Be Your Own, 146). He later comments that “the trouble with the world was that nobody cared, or stopped and took any trouble” (The Life You Save May Be Your Own, 149). Mr. Shiftlet, near the end of the story, “felt that the rottenness of the world was about to engulf him” (The Life You Save May Be Your Own, 156). In Good Country People Hulga changes her name from Joy Hopewell. Her new name better fits her attitude, which is described as large, hulking, bitter, and angry. Her new name is also a symbol of the ugly lack of meaning of her life. Hulga is a nihilist, and yet she treats her artificial leg “as someone else would his soul, in private and almost with her eyes turned away” (Good Country People, 288). She lives a façade of apathy, blindness, and anger, yet in truth she wants to be accepted “like I am” (Good Country People, 274). While Manley at first appears to understand her, “You ain't like anybody else” (Good Country People, 284), her mother treats her like a child because of her leg and Mrs. Freeman treats her…show more content…
In The Artificial Nigger Mr. Head and Nelson both are unfairly phobic of the black people they meet in the city. Though they never explicitly affirm that they hate blacks, they are indisputably prejudiced because preconceptions are intrinsic to white Southerners. This hereditary bias is unmistakable in Everything That Rises Must Converge where black characters are characterized as victims suffering for sins of white Christians, “Don't think that was just an uppity Negro woman... That was the whole colored race which will no longer take your condescending pennies” (Everything That Rises Must Converge, 149). Furthermore, implicit racism (again, ingrained, not a hatred), is existent in The Enduring Chill where Asbury finds his communications with Morgan and Randall in his mother's barn to be between equals. He is deluded because he finds himself to be accepting and impartial to skin color, yet his reasons for conversing with these two blacks is to write a play dubbed “The Negro,” which is fundamentally

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