Mary Flannery O Conner made very relevant contributions to the library of 20-century literature. She was a well educate, somewhat traveled, but most importantly an academically appreciated member of the arts community during her time. Her works have been admitted to research and used to express and explain the depiction of the height of fiction in modern literature. The aspects and motivating factors causing or inspiring her success are matters of literary importance. She was raised in an environment of cultural grounding and emphasis on education. During that time, women and education were two not very well related aspects. Studying in a Catholic school and living in a neighborhood that revealed religious disparity meant that she develop religious dilemma. Catholic was the popular religion but not popular among all people as only a small portion of her community subscribed to Christianity. Regarding education, Mary O Conner was a brilliant student and achieve a Master`s degree before her intellect and contributions to art were recognized inspiring the accreditation of an Honorary Doctor of Letters degrees. She spent most of her time practicing the education she had gained concerning literature. Education consumed the most influential part of her life, affected a writing style, and culture as well as suppressing religion.
Mary O Conner followed the conventional education system. She went through High school at Peabody School and proceeded to study a Bachelor`s degree course at Georgia State College for Women. She did not find that her education empowered her to achieve success as a writer. According to Sharp (13), O Conner stated that she was not deceived by her academic qualifications into think that her career as a writer would be a success just because she was had achieved educational accreditations. To Mary O Conner education was neither empowering nor limiting an individual`s career potential. Within the span of about ten years, she had a change of opinion and began to think of her education as being a waste of much valuable time. In her thinking education had become a burden and not an empowering factor. However, she retained a passion for reading and enjoyed studying Greek and Roman mythology. As such, her reading practices continued to afford her much knowledge and inspiration. In 1945, she got the opportunity to continue her studies under a scholarship to master in journalism at University of Iowa. She embraced the opportunity and proceeded to do a master in creative arts. Flannery O`Connor embraced art as a way of life, means of communication, and entertainment. Her academic life was the major influence on her work. She seemed to reveal much evidence that knowledge and wisdom meant much to her as an artist and as a person. These is evident in her short stories A Good Man is Hard to find" and Good Country People in the first case the main character is disadvantaged because of her wisdom as is Hopewell`s daughter in the second story. The depiction seems to confirm that Sharp was sincere and accurate to say that O`Connor did not think highly of her education in relation to her writing career. In both stories wisdom is just but a limiting factor. The implications of such are observed in her depiction of character and the revelation of the ends concerning the people endowed with much wisdom. They are fooled by the simplest people around them and utterly unable to convince their way out of trouble.
In the story A Good Man is Hard to find, the element of education is revealed severally with the grandmother often emphasizing that the children ought to learn to interact with their elders better. For instance, the writer brings in events concerning reading often presenting it as a matter unrelated to the underlying issues happening. Most of such events are used to develop context. For example, as the story is starting, the grandmother is said to be holding a journal as she tries to persuade Bailey about their travel destination. Her activities of trying to entice him into reading are expressed further as she says, Now look here, Bailey, read this. It would seem that the author hopes to send a message that studying is an important part of life it does not guarantee the often hoped for benefits or command results. During negotiations between the grandmother, mother, and contributions from grandchildren O`Connor reintroduces the aspects of education. She notes that as the conversations are taking place, the children are involved in other activities and only pose to comment or offer their remarks. The activity revealing education is the keenness of the author to document, He and the little girl, June Star, were reading the funny papers on the floor. Similar events are revealed and mention as a reading of comic books, completion of reading and exchange of comic books. The grandmother strengthens the evidence of education as an important thing in her mention of education after the car accident had occurred. It would be very educational for them, She says.
As the story approaches its conclusion, O`Connor finds comfort in using phrases such scholarly look to refer to the fashion of dressing and posture. The writer explained clothing in a manner suggesting that she had spent more time seeking an understanding of the academic world than she did with fashion. The theme of knowledge acquisition and the writers mockery of such occurs when thugs approach Bailey`s family at the scene of the accident. The family already in a terrible predicament lands into more trouble as the grandmother tells the thugs that she recognizes them. In this situation knowledge in a limiting factor as it make a tough situation worse. The grandmother negotiations seem to bear no result as Misfit, and his partners seem determined to kill the family. Most, unfortunately, the thugs, who are portrayed as having difficulty communicating properly, are at an advantage over the somewhat educated family. The misfit is quoted uttering words such as ast instead of ask and reckernized instead of recognize. The misfit was portrayed as a lesser educated man whose language was difficult to comprehend as he continually constructed sentences such as, but somewhere along the line I done something wrong. The entire family was murdered by a person viewed as lesser endowed with wisdom. This served the purpose of mocking education and access to knowledge. It campaigned and publicized the idea that education does not guarantee the result.
In the story Good Country People, O`Connor`s work is influenced by her over achieved academic status. When O`Connor speaks about Ph.D. and Master`s holders she emphasizes on the importance of education in her background. This reveals that education is as much a social influence as it is an inspiration to her writing career. Emphasis is placed on the argument that country people are well educated. For instance, Hopewell`s daughter, Joy/ Hulga is young yet well educated. However, most of the country old people are lesser educated yet tend to over compensate to such extent that they become to know it all quacks. O`Connor`s inspiration of preparing the contextual setting within which Mrs. Freeman says, "I know it. I've always been quick. It's some that are quicker than others." The emphasis that these kinds of conversations happen often, reinforces the idea that such challenges are not a result on individual character but rather a social conditioning; the society is biased towards young scholars. O`Connor seems to be speaking about her situation as a young achiever in a rural community. This is illustrated in the events of Joy`s life; she is treated like a child though she is a young adult master`s degree holder. Only the conventional courses are perceived as superior courses. The writer revealed emphasis through Hopewell`s contribution of the thematic contextualization in her words, You could say, "My daughter is a nurse," or "My daughter is a school teacher," or even, "My daughter is a chemical engineer." You could not say, "My daughter is a philosopher." That was something that had ended with the Greeks and Romans.
The writer`s academic success is one she see`s to be a limiting factor to social success. She mocks education in her depiction of Joy`s character as a person with an inflated ego blinding her from noticing other people`s wisdom. She miscalculates other people`s potential as she thinks herself above all others. Her underestimation of Manley Pointer is a most embarrassing issue. Feeling that she is better educated than the rural individual, she begins by lying to Manley about her age. In the events, Manley expresses his lack of motivation to hold bachelor`s degree of master s degree. He is an individual who lacks interest in education but aims to school Joy, a Ph.D. holder. The two met and headed to their picnic site. Manley does not think Joy is clever; he takes her removable wooden leg. The statement that, You ain`t so smart. emphasizes that though she is educated she is not wise enough to handle life matters. Education is depicted in a manner that related to O`Connor`s opinion about education.
In conclusion, Mary Flannery O`Connor lived a rich life. Her education shaped her career life. In the stories, a good man is hard to find, and good country people the thematic context is shaped by educational experiences and her intimate responses to the question of acquisition of knowledge. Education is portrayed as being vital; however, the very educated people are mocked for relying education to develop social solutions
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