Flannery O'Connor Writing Styles in The Violent Bear It Away

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The Violent Bear It Away is an example of Southern Gothic, a style of writing that is characterized by its setting in the American South and its grotesque, macabre, or fantastic incidents. Southern Gothic literature explores and critiques Southern culture by focusing on the supernatural, and describing people who are spiritually or physically deformed but still portrayed with empathy, their humanity as well their limitations spelled out in often violent terms. O'Connor's characters in The Violent Bear It Away are near-caricatures, and damaged in some way, but their essential humanity makes the reader care about their plight. The protagonist Tarwater is a sullen, angry boy, emotionally wounded and a "backwoods imbecile" as his uncle, Rayber, calls him. But O'Connor makes the reader care about his journey to self-realization. Other characters' deformities are more obvious: Bishop is mentally defective, Rayber is lame and uses a hearing aid, and...

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This section contains 819 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Violent Bear It Away Study Guide
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