Writing is an ancient art, used from long ago to convey various aspects, including entertainment, education, recording of history, critiquing and rebuking, writing revelations and many other purposes. There are various forms of writing, in which authors engage to put forth their feelings and intention. Additionally, history has many prolific and congruent writers who made names for themselves through writing instinctively about various themes and issues. Among the writers who have revolutionized the art of writing is Flannery O'Connor, a dynamic woman who wrote her work from distinctive features and issues within the society (Gordon 31). Many lovers of her work indicate that she loved writing, and wrote from her heart, communicating clearly to her audience. Through her visible achievements, this is evidence of her success achieved through the art of writing.
March 25, 1925 marked the beginning of the life of Mary Flannery O'Connor. She was born in Savannah Georgia, to Regine Cline and Edwin Francis O'Connor. The family was staunchly of the catholic faith, and they lived in the South during her early childhood. It was during her school years that she realized her interest in writing while she attended Peabody High School and later joined the Georgia State College for women. Later on, she pursued her further education in the University of IOWA (Gordon 16). It was during her college years that she began working for the college magazine as an editor. Later in the university, she attended many writing workshops, firing her towards her passion of writing. It was while she was pursuing her degree of Masters of Fine Arts in Literature that she published her first short story, 'The Geranium' in 1946, after which she graduated the following year. Notably, Mary Flannery had a turbulent childhood, experiencing many challenges that drifted her from her course. For instance, her father passed on when she was fifteen, from disseminated lupus. This condition later followed her, but to her lack, the physicians established a cure for the disease; hence, she healed. Additionally, the fact that she lived in the backyard of the town village, presented a challenge, as she did not have exposure like her age mates at the time had (Gordon 20). Nonetheless, she still managed to establish herself as an iconic writer.
At the age of five years, Flannery O'Connor purportedly taught her chicken pet to walk backwards. This was her beginning in the career of literature as several companies set forth to document this humorous story (Gooch 21). She indicates this as the marking point of her life, in a holiday magazine essay she wrote later. Through her college life, she worked as the magazine editor for the college magazine where she studied. It was while working as the editor that she perfected her art of writing as she contributed by writing various essays for the magazine. She published several essays in her school years. However, the turning point was when she released her first novel, 'Wise Blood' in 1952. This book propagated her towards her writing career as she followed suit with other novels, such as 'The Violent Bear It Away' in 1960, and 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find' in 1955 along with other essays. This put her on the map of proficient and instinctive writers of the time (Bloom 18). The village setting, her chicken and backyard setting helped her to meditate upon the uneasiness she experienced from exposure to fame and popularity. For instance, a magazine quoted her in one of the interviews saying that the attention from the celebrity status made her feel like a cross between "Roy Rogers's horse and Miss Watermelon of 1955." This shows the extent to which her work propagated her growth and establishment as a famous and loved writer.
The thesis of the masters of O'Connors was a collection of short stories, called The Geranium. This followed through the published story from her work. In her collection of stories, she shows a connection to an apprentice on search of her territory. Her career continued after getting the masters in 1747. She won the Rinehart-Iowa Award from submitting a part of her novel, 'Wise Blood'. After winning the award, Yaddo, a retreat for artists took her and there she continued working on her novel. However, she suffered a setback in 1950 when Lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease, struck her, but she survived after receiving treatment with steroid drugs (Gordon39). She survived the first attack but then moved t Milledgeville permanently. It is in this historic central Georgia town that she spent the remaining part of her life, quietly at Andalusia. Despite the side effects of the steroid drugs used to treat her, she still managed to devote her time to writing. She also took trips to lecture and read from her works.
She wrote several letters, which helped her, stay in touch with the literary world, through Fitzegeralds, Robert Lowell and Caroline Gordon among others. Flannery O'Connor at this time, she tendered peacocks, received and advised visitors on literary and spiritual matters (Walker 11). She also reviewed works of young writers, as well as reviewed and wrote for the Georgia Bulletin a publication of the Atlanta diocese. In early 1964, she underwent surgery for fibroid tumor, reactivating the Lupus condition; hence, she died. Nonetheless, in 1972 the posthumous, a complete collection of her stories, won the National Book Award, typically awarded to alive writers (Gooch 113). However, due to her exceptional talent in writing, the judges made an exception to honor her lifetime achievements. Later on, The Habit of Being, letters of O'Connor edited by Sally Fitzgerald was published in 1979. These letters revealed her writing habits and notably, her profound religious convictions. Other works of O'Connor featured in the publications of "Everything that Rises Must Converge," "A good Man is hard to find" and "The Violent Bear it Away."
The purpose, motive and success in communication to the audience
It is notable that one cannot go through the works of fiction of O'Connor without encountering disfigured characters, someone with a missing part of the body, a crippling mutilation or wild tattoo. This raises questions on her motives and success in communicating to her audience. Observing the works of O'Connor, it presents pure shocks of language. She uses blissful language, flickering with intelligibility and maturity of versified English. It gives a feeling of characters that in their empty headedness are unusually aware of their vulnerability to the thrills of the mysteries of the unknown (Gooch 76). It highlights her natural ambivalence towards life, and religion, placing it between the readers and writers. Her novels create a moral authority to the readers through her writing skills. She uses the literary significance of mystery, interrelations of fictive and actual texts charged with social, political and religious issues to communicate vividly to her audience. She used language and literary skills of writing, with a lot of symbolism and imagery to communicate to her audience, a factor that made her remarkably successful in communication.
Flannery O'Connel writing had a lot of influence from her Catholic upbringing, with almost all her fiction revolving around religious lines. However, it is notable that her stories feature violence and suffering, discouragements and deformations causing disabilities the stories still find their root to her deep religious convictions. The stories contain jarring situations that propagate the characters to awaken alters of their faith (Gooch 63). She also presents moments of grace and Christian ideas in them; hence, her purpose to writing directs the writer to developing and establishing their faith. She wrote inextricably from her Christian belief. Through the most prevalent themes of her writings, we see the purpose and motive of her work as to give hope to the challenged through alters of their Faith. For instance, she uses the theme of the sky and weather in the stories "A Good Man is hard to find" and "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," she uses the sky to represent openness to faith (Flannery 19). The sky also represents the uncertainty of life, as the absence of the sun or clouds symbolizes the lack of direction for life. In the catholic faith, sun is a symbol of the Holy Ghost; thus, this indicates her purpose in propagating faith to her audience. Through her work, Grace is evident, as characters that seem not deserve it still get it. Thus, she had the motive to encourage and give hope to her audience, a factor she managed to communicate vividly to them. She also rebukes racism and expresses disgust at the world. For instance, in "A Good Man is hard to find," Red Sammy shows disgust at the world and its uncertainties. Thus, she has a motive to influence change in the world through rebuking the evils of racism and discriminations of disability and deformities, as well as, use of language to propagate physical violence.
Criticisms about her work
Over the years, the fiction of Flannery O'Connor continues to enjoy…