April 3, 2006
Saving the best for last
O'Connor, '''The Displaced Person'' -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)WOW! I just finished reading "The Displaced Person" and don't know where to start. We could probably talk about this story alone for an entire class! O'Connor really shines in her descriptions: "Bars of sunlight fell from the cracked ceiling across his back and cut him in three distinct parts" (Talk about foreshadowing!). Then there's the long paragraph on page 218 comprising Mrs. Shortley's vision. My Paper #2 is all about how O'Connor blends normally separate dimensions in comparison to the works of M.C. Escher, and here's a prime example: "...her eyes on the distant low-lying clouds that looked like rows and rows of white fish washed up on a great blue beach" (218).
More than any otherof her stories, all of the heartache is this could have been avoided. Despite being one -widowed and twice-divorced, Mrs. McIntyre had never "...discharged any one before; they had all left her" (245). Chances are Mrs. McIntyre would never have fired the Shortleys even though that's what she told the priest (She made several lame attempts to fire DP even though she never did that either). Mrs. Shortley may not have then died. Secondly, the only reason I see for firing DP is his blindness toward inter-racial marriage, which is apparently the worst thing in the world to Mrs. McIntyre.
Finally, O'Connor takes great pains in repeatedly describing piles of bodies - once in relation to the pictures from the concentration camps, next while writing about the Shortleys and all of their animals in the car and finally in the death scene where mourners crowd DP's broken body. What is O'Connor saying?
I'm glad that this book really ended with a bang!
Posted by BrendaChristeleit at April 3, 2006 4:45 PM
Brenda, I really think your use of M.C. Esher in connection to O'Connor is inspired. I can't wait to see what you do with it.
Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 3, 2006 8:57 PM