Date of Award
Master's Essay - Restricted
Master of Arts (MA)
Flannery O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away, like the peacocks she was so fond of, spreads the splendor of its vision with a vibrating shimmer and obstinately insists on displaying the underside of its magnificence to the beholder. After the display, the surface spectacle of irridescent [sic] eyes ranged row upon row and the startling grey underside of that vision fuse in the reader's mind. We do not forget the "seeing" we have experienced in the novel. Miss O'Connor doesn't want us to. Her novel creates a search for a visionary experience; its technique is the projection of startling scenes as a vehicle of her own vision of life; her life style creates that vision by a penetrating observation of real objects. She has advised young writers to paint even as they write because both require the "trained eye." In speaking of the fiction writer's task, she said:
"The writer has to judge himself with the stranger's eye and the stranger's severity. The prophet in him has to see the freak. No art is stunk in the self, but rather, in art the self becomes self-forgetful in order to meet the demands of the thing seen and the thing being made."1
Jordan, Mary M., "Tarwater Seen and Seeing: Process Toward Final Vision in The Violent Bear It Away" (1970). Master's Essays (1922 - ). 1269.