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Thread: Joyce Carol Oates

  1. #16
    Bronze Member reptilian's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by iconophilia View Post
    Alice, I've always wanted to read Flannery O'Connor. What do you mean by grotesque? Is that part of the gothic literary tradition?

    I'm very interested.

    PS - I love William Faulkner, too. "A Rose for Emily" blew my brain outta my ears when I was in high school and it led me into reading his novels.
    A Rose for Emily... Is that that creepy short story about the man whose wife (or some other woman close to him...can't really remember the details) has died and at the end there's a depression in the bed and the pillow next to where he slept? Or am I completely off target? (I'm reaching back over a decade here to remember this story..)

    Anyway, if that's the one it is, I never even realized that was by Faulkner--I probably read it before even knowing what an influential author Faulkner was. It's funny when things come together for you like that...
    my moral standing is falling down

  2. #17
    SVZ is offline
    Do fish have boogers? SVZ's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Yup that's it reptilian

    OHhh the Lottery was a good one too.

  3. #18
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    you already know.


    here's part of my essay on a wonderfulably horrifying Flannery O'Connor short story, everyone should read this one for the pure chills and levels of evil involved:
    Dr. Greg Sarris
    English 555

    The Grandmother in this story is pure evil; nothing more and nothing less until. Evil is characterized by someone who is morally wrong, causes ruin, misfortune, pain or harmful injury, and is blameworthy for destructive events. "She would have been a good woman, if it had been somebody there to shoot her for every minute of her life." Staring at death she was suddenly very religious and could see the good in people, even misfits, but what about the rest of her life? She was a selfish, racist, manipulative, liar who would sell her kids down the river if it meant saving her own ass. She had no use for Jesus or God or anything good and that is why she is the epitome of evil. Only when faced with imminent death does she truly open her heart to God, just briefly shown when she falls to the ground “with her legs crossed under like a child and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky”. Her crossed legs symbolize the cross of the crucifix and I can just imagine the peacefulness of the smile on her face as she looks upward towards the Light with the kind of innocently open heart only found in young children.
    The Grandmother’s personality has many evil or sinful traits including self-love, or extreme narcissism as I see it. She is only superficially a good woman, which she even tries to convince herself of being by constantly referring to herself as a “lady”. She also sees everyone else for what they are only on the surface. She even sees her family purely as an extension of herself and uses them like a tool to get what she wants. She manipulatively forces her family to abide by her wishes. For example she gets her son to go back to the house with the "secret panel", causing them to meet The Misfit, which ultimately seals the entire family's deadly fate.
    The grandmother dressed in her Sunday best clothes "in case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead would know at once she was a lady," showed a lady more concerned with the appearance of her life to others rather than her deliverance. Her private thoughts also reveal the grandmother's shallow view of death. In the grandmother's mind, her clothing preparations, which O’Connor goes into great detail about, prevents any misgivings about her status as a lady.
    She is implying that by simply her dress, those who look at her will know that she is a respectable, noble woman.
    This woman can also be considered extremely despicable because of her narrow racist notions.
    The big self-centered lies that she repeatedly tells also make her the personification of evil.
    The "good man" that O'Conner is referring to in the title is actually the only perfect man--Jesus. You see, "a good man"--or Jesus-- is hard to find. Basically, it took a gun to her head before she found Jesus.
    The Misfit because he commits murders in the effort to try to "awaken" Jesus into action (the Misfit believes that because he did not see Jesus resurrect the dead, it probably didn't happen).
    Evil personified
    -the author Greg Sarris was my professor, he left my school cause they treated him like shit, but he has quite an ego so I don't kno if he'll ever find a school where he feels worshipped satisfactorily -is that a word? - oh and btw i'm a crap writer, but I love to discuss literature

  4. #19
    Bronze Member amajha's Avatar
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    Oct 2005

    Default Re: Joyce Carol Oates

    I'm reading her new one: Missing Mom. Quite enjoyable so far, and I don't like all of her books.

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