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The Gross and Grotesque in Flannery OConnorFlannery OConnor is known for her regional Christian gothic grotesque writing We see all these elements in her short stories Flannery OConnors fiction generates strong reactions because of her use of the gross and grotesque According to Gilbert Muller Flannery OConnor began writing about the grotesque because she could and she readily admitted it in a letter to James Farham OConnor explained Essentially the reason my characters are grotesque is because it is the nature of my talent to make them so 21I think that Flannery OConnor uses the grotesque in her writing because it shocks readers and makes them realize the moral point she is expressing I feel that the application of the grotesque comes from her religious background and viewpoints However it is not just a gothic view of the grotesque There is also a touch of humor in her writing I think she mostly uses grotesque aspects to demonstrate the diminished state that her characters are in and how far they have to go for redemption Muller states that Flannery OConnor was successful in character depiction because she realized that the grotesque was the ideal vehicle for objectifying fears obsessions and compulsion 21Flannery OConnor took everyday situations and confrontations such as a visit to the doctors office and filled it with horror I think that she used these everyday encounters to help her readers visualize that these typical horror scenes surround us According to Muller OConnors characters are induced to distortions in character and that the individual is floundering in a sea of contradictions and incongruities 27 Muller also goes on to say that the typical grotesque character in OConnors fiction is an individual who projects certain extreme mental states which while psychologically valid are not investigations in the tradition of psychological realism 22 Often I found that the main characters of her stories thought themselves to be superior to others not realizing their lack of
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