Teaching Flannery O’Connor

Thursday, November 8, 2012
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm (EST) Enter Classroom Enter Forum


Lucinda MacKethan
Professor of English, Emerita, North Carolina State University
National Humanities Center Fellow

About the Seminar

Flannery O’Connor’s stories have retained their power to intrigue, to perplex, and to instruct readers in both the art of storytelling and the mysteries of the spirit. Through close reading of “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” written early in her career, and “Revelation,” written shortly before her death, we will explore two of her most important concepts, the artistic technique of “the Grotesque” and the religious principle of Grace.

Combining her concerns as artist and spiritual seeker, O’Connor brought Grace and the Grotesque into explosive alignment through her people and her place: the changing rural South of the mid-twentieth century. We will use these two stories to trace the way she developed and perfected her trademark tools of humor, violence, vernacular manners, and allegory. Our goal will be to show students how to analyze her fiction and the distinct reality it presents.

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Assigned Readings

  1. "A Good Man is Hard to Find"
  2. "Revelation"

Suggested Additional Resources

    Two sites that offer helpful background and secondary source material:
  1. Flannery O'Connor Collection, Georgia College, Library
  2. Comforts of Home, The Flannery O'Connor Repository

Seminar Recording