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The Grotesque in Flannery OConnor Flannery OConnor a prolific Southern author was born in Savannah Georgia in 1925 during the Great Depression After her fathers death from lupus when OConnor was fifteen she and her mother moved to Andulusia a rural quail farm outside of Milledgeville Georgia OConnor herself was diagnosed with lupus at the age of twenty-five and suffered greatly from the disease which finally killed her She was educated in parochial Catholic schools where she learned the basics of literature and grammar OConnor began writing at the young age of ten and her stories were frequently published Her most prevalent themes include comic violence the question of redemption displacement and religion Flannery OConnors overriding religious views and perspectives on life were illustrated through the abnormal characters and grotesque figures in her stories particularly in Good Country People A Good Man is Hard to Find and The Life You Save May Be Your Own Flannery OConnor often used grotesque images in her writings to portray the fundamental struggles of human beings However she did not limit herself to the simple questions of right and wrong good vs evil OConnors characters struggle in their daily lives to overcome their violent inner conflicts In Good Country People OConnor begins with the grotesque description of Joy also known as Hulga and her missing leg Her leg was shot off in an unfortunate hunting accident when she was only ten For more than twenty years she has been limping with one leg Hulga has never experienced those things valued by others growing up she never danced never knew what it was like to experience normal good times OConnor 173 JoyHulgas missing leg becomes the focus for a Bible selling con man who demonstrates artificial faith to get what he needs In the end the salesman manages to con Joy out of her prosthetic leg The grotesque image of the man walking down the street with someone elses prosthetic
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