28 April 1999
The Gross and Grotesque in Flannery O'Connor
Flannery O'Connor is known for her regional, Christian, gothic, grotesque writing. We see all these elements in her short stories. Flannery O'Connor's fiction generates strong reactions because of her use of the gross and grotesque. According to Gilbert Muller, "Flannery O'Connor began writing about the grotesque because she could, and she readily admitted it in a letter to James Farham. O'Connor explained,
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and to get her point across. Not only does she use the grotesque to astound, but she also uses it for its comical effect, and for the melodramatic effect. I do not feel she uses the grotesque, as many gothic writers do, for a purely evil or demonic effect. I believe she uses the grotesque in a religious sense to show how degraded her characters are, and how far they must go to achieve redemption.