Xue Er De -Fen Library

American Literature

A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor

By Flannery O'Connor

The gathering that tested O’Connor’s recognition as one of many American masters of the fast tale. the amount includes the distinguished name tale, a story of the murderous fugitive The Misfit, in addition to “The Displaced Person” and 8 different tales.

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Tracing Donatello's "wild blood" (1045), Ae narrator gives in excessive detail a lineage that combines an Italian "genealogy" with what are stressed as "altogether mythical" origins. The result is that genealogy itself becomes a matter of myth — though this is not to say that all that is inherited is merely mythic. The elaborate pedigree makes race a matter of every and any kind of human category: the "scattered qualities of his race" (1046) include an inherited "family character," a family history, a class identity, a nationality, a "pre-historic" tribal identity ("the Pelasgic race," men of "Asiatic birth"), and a "wild paternity" of acknowledged myth.

The crime and the remorse it instills create in Donatello a "thousand high capabilities" that make him tragically but fully human. Yet although the express intent of the novel is to retell "the story of the Fall of Man," it is impossible to overlook the fact that the character who is the novel's moral center, Hilda, actually decries the doctrine ofafelix culpa. " (1236). In this light, the revision of Hawthorne's original title The Transformation seems especially significant, a gesture of ambiguity about the very conversion the plot is designed to dramatize.

An ethnographic diction allowed novelists to domesticate precisely those social facts that would have been ignored discretely in private homes and institutions of high culture: an increasing immigration and racial diversity, along with the theories of race and citizenship that accompanied them (Chapter 2); new urban conditions that altered the indoor world of bourgeois social life and its presumed civility (Chapter 3); the strange, unnerving desires that seemed unleashed by commodity consumption (Chapter 4); and the specter of new and uncertain powers of agency for women (Chapter 5).

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