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The Life You Save May Be Your Own/ Good Country People Comparative Essay. Flannery O’ Connor. About the author. Born in 1925. Father died of lupus , a hereditary disease, when O’ Connor was 15.
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The Life You Save May Be Your Own/ Good Country PeopleComparative Essay Flannery O’ Connor
About the author • Born in 1925. • Father died of lupus, a hereditary disease, when O’ Connor was 15. • In 1951, O’ Connor herself was diagnosed with disseminated lupus, which she lived with for 15 years before dying in 1964 at 39 years old. • O'Connor described herself as a "pigeon-toed child with a receding chin and a you-leave-me-alone-or-I'll-bite-you complex." • When O'Connor was six she taught a chicken to walk backwards, which led to her first experience of being a celebrity: “it was the high point in my life. Everything since has been anticlimax.” • She was a devout Catholic living in the "Bible Belt," the Protestant South, at times giving lectures on faith and literature, travelling quite far despite her frail health.
Her writing career • Often wrote in a Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and -- it is regularly said -- grotesque characters. • Her stories usually take place in the South revolving around morally flawed characters. • O’ Connor uses blunt foreshadowing – the reader is given an idea of what will happen far ahead of the event. • She rejected the criticism of her stories as cynical or sarcastic: "The stories are hard but they are hard because there is nothing harder or less sentimental than Christian realism” • She wrote ironic fiction about deceptively backward Southern characters who undergo transformations of character or meet an awesome fate.
Your Task • To what extent is Flannery O’ Connor a moral writer? In your answer you should address two texts by the author, with reference to at least two of the following: character, setting, symbolism, irony, orany other appropriate feature. • You will write your response text-by-text (story A, followed by story B). • Interviews with Flannery O’ Connor can be found on the Net and may be quoted where appropriate. • Your essay should be approximately 800 words. • You should include quotes to back up each point you make. • You should thoroughly spell-check and examine your work closely for any other errors.
Structure • Introduction: Open your essay stylishly. Avoid the likes of ‘I am going to…’. Rephrase the question with reference to the texts you will study. Try to outline the broad ideas of your essay. • Text A: Examine the first story in response to the task. • Text B: Now examine the second story. You should avoid repetition but it will be useful to your argument to refer to the first story’s similarities and differences within your discussion of the second text. • Conclusion: Sum up your response. How has your examination of these stories formed your opinion of O’ Connor as a ‘moral writer’?