A story of dark and strange staggering beauty. Joy and pain, suffering and redemption. It’s has dark cynical humor with characters of outrageous quality. There is plenty of work behind the structure of the story. She has included many issues around her during her time and locality, they are of beauty, child neglect and abuse, racism and police brutality. Watch out for these things as you read this along as you might not pick up what she trying to convey. His large hat and clothing seem to give everyone an idea that he is a preacher and his body seems to imbue that he’s a preacher and a believer. But he’s wants others to see that he’s an admirable nihilist. This war he has with himself accepting and refuting continues throughout. This is no picket fence Walt Disney happy ending story. A very Flannery O’Connor like mood of story, dark and strange, but very human, they all seem to be on a road the characters to somewhere in this story. She is trying in a way to say, due to her beliefs and new testament understanding, that every believer is really in a sort of suffering prison in this world expectant of a happier life after death. The suffering and obstacles that the characters face all seem to be part of that road to understandings of a bigger picture. The main character Hazel Motes is bent on proving there is no need for a redeemer and Christ, with his mission of starting a church ‘the church without Christ’ and fails in getting followers. This failure in his journey seems to turn him back to the very whole Redemption topic he has been trying to disprove and turn away from and seems to come back full circle. Will he take it on? How will his journey end? Flannery tackles big things in her life here and has it all symbolically imbued in the text. She written a story that even a person with not even a grain of belief in God will still look back and enjoy and many ponder over her mastery and brilliance in the literary field. Most of her characters are in suffering or a generally unpleasant people. her symbolism and characters change and shift meaning throughout this novel and her other works.
There is a catalog of suffering and struggle in her writing. Flannery describes her female characters with ugliness and describes the body in a fragmented way, disconnecting the hands and feet when describing a body in the story, possibly she is trying to use a certain style inspired by the southern society regard of women and beauty and anther important factor her own decline in health with lupus causing disfigurement and mutation.
To recap a short novel but outstanding in structure, characters and story. Filled with joy and suffering, escape and discovery, brutally human with dark humor. There is some light and I think it comes with the readers experience and interpretation.
” ‘You then,’ he said impatiently, pointing at the next one. ‘What church you belong to ?’ ‘Church of Christ,’ the boy said in a falsetto to hide the truth. ‘Church of Christ!’ Haze repeated.’Well, I preach rather Church Without Christ. I’m member and preacher to that church where the blind don’t see and the lame don’t walk and what’s dead stays that way. Ask me about that church and I’ll tell you it’s the church that the blood of Jesus don’t foul with redemption.’ “
“I like his eyes . They don’t look like they see what he’s looking at but they keep on looking.” Sabbath Lily Hawkes.
“I wouldn’t have you believe nothing you can’t feel in your own hearts.” Onnie Jay Holy