Flannery regarded as “among the most distinguished American fiction

Flannery O’Connor
was a young mid-twentieth century American fiction writer who lived in
Milledgeville Georgia. Throughout her life span O’Connor wrote two complete
novels, Wise Blood and the Violent Bear It Away, as well as
thirty-one short stories. Her work is regarded as “among the most distinguished
American fiction of the mid-twentieth century.” (Meyer, 2017, pg.335) O’Connor
wrote for Georgia State College for Women in their literary magazine after her
father died of lupus. Her work earned her a fellowship to the Writers’ Workshop
at the University of Iowa. Shortly after two years O’Connor began her first
novel, Wise Blood when she moved to
New York. In 1950, she was diagnosed with lupus and returned to Georgia to be
with her mother while raising peacocks and writing stories in her last years of
life.

 

            Being one of the “most distinguished”
American fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century, Flannery O’Connor
accomplished a great deed before her death. She lived with her mother and
father in a small town called Milledgeville located in southern Georgia. Although
her life was largely uneventful she humorously acknowledged its quiet nature
and claimed, “there will not be any biographies of me because for only one
reason, lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting
copy.” (Meyer, 2017, pg. 336) O’Connor’s outline of her life offered clues on
why she wrote such powerful fiction.

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            O’Connor was born in Savannah,
Georgia where she attended grammar school and high school. She was an only child
and both of her parents were Catholic. When she was thirteen, her father fell
ill with disseminated lupus. Her father quit his real-estate business and the
family soon moved to Milledgeville, Georgia. O’Connor attended public school
and shortly after enrolled in Georgia State College after the death of her
father. After that her writing career began. She wrote her first novel in 1950,
Wise Blood.  She then fell ill with lupus.

 

            Flannery O’Connor’s deep spiritual
convictions coincide with the traditional emphasis on religion in the South,
where, she said, “there is still the belief that man has fallen and that he is
only perfectible by God’s grace, not by his own unaided efforts.” (Meyer, 2017,
pg. 338) Her work coincides to everyone because her concerns about human
failure and degradation and her artistic ability to render fictional lives that
are alternately absurdly comic and tragic attract readers of all persuasions. Her
stories evoke rhythms of rural southern speech and manners in settings where
widely diverse characters mingle.

 

            O’Connor’s stories present complex
experiences that cannot be summarized, it takes the entire story to suggest the
meanings. Her upbringing and life experiences influenced her writing to attract
to all persuasions of readers. O’Connor’s fiction grapples with living a
spiritual life in a secular world. Flannery O’Connor’s work will always be
regarded to as, “the most distinguished American fiction of the mid-twentieth
century.”