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"Parker's Back"

O Connor Assignment
Locate and read a copy of a short story by Flannery O'Connor that isn't in our text (you will probably have to visit a library or book store) and compare it directly to at least one of the stories we read, these being, "A Good Man is Hard to Find", "Good Country People", or "Revelation"(or to all of them more generally), in terms of the following:
theme, style (identify at least one SPECIFIC similarity)symbols (again, identify at least one specific similarity in the type or effect of O'Connor's use of symbol in each story)

I choose Parker's Back, but if you have another story that you can help better with, that is fine too.

I have a hard time creating an essay that makes sense when trying to compare stories, and especially need help with the outline and getting my thoughts to make sense on paper.

Solution Preview

"Parker's Back" was the final story written by Flannery O'Connor. It is a unique, and wise perception of heresy - at least in the idea that the human spirit and matter are separate and opposite manifestations of good and evil, and the way the individual approaches God, but sometimes God is unwilling to come toward man.

In brief, O.E. Parker, a shiftless and base man, married Sara Cates, a plain, but self-righteous woman who was "forever sniffing up sin." Parker continually wonders why he ever married Sara, or why she stays with him, since they are almost polar opposites in personality and world-view. Once O.E. and Sarah are married, O.E. takes a job as a handyman for a wealthy elderly woman, who is snobbish and looks down on him. When he accidentally destroys his employer's tractor and sets a tree on fire, he runs to the city, getting yet another new tattoo, this one he thinks will please Sarah - an image of Jesus. Instead, Sara is appalled, beats O.E. with a brook until the face of Jesus is distorted by welts. The story ends with O.E. crying near a pecan tree outside their home, despondent and unrelenting in his lack of understanding about life and his own place in the universe.

Physically, O.E. is tattooed, but has a negative self-image and is ...

Solution Summary

Analysis of this story is included.