A Circle in the Fire Essay

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In the following essay, Smith discusses dual gender roles present in O'Connor's women characters in "A Circle in the Fire" and other stories.

In a Jungian analysis of three key works of short fiction by Flannery O'Connor, "A Circle in the Fire," "The Displaced Person," and "Greenleaf," Mary L. Morton claims that these stories "dramatize the ludicrosity of women who have denied the spirit of femininity, the anima" and that the sympathy that O'Connor generates for the protagonists of these stories is a "trick on some readers." In fact, these characters, as well as other O'Connor characters in similar positions, do not really deny their femininity, they exploit it, sometimes to the point that they seem to be parodying it. And they should arouse in most readers not only sympathy but also a grudging respect. Unlikable as these women may appear, all deserve credit for employing a...

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This section contains 5,644 words
(approx. 15 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Circle in the Fire Study Guide
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