Heather Crabill's Reviews > The Violent Bear it Away

The Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O'Connor
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's review
May 24, 2010

it was amazing

Reading Flannery O'Conner for the first time (Wise Blood, The Violent Bear it Away) has allowed me to come to the conclusion that she was truly one of the South's greatest writers. You often hear about Faulkner as being sort of the official bearer of that title (perhaps I am wrong here; if so, I apologize), however, in my opinion, Flannery blows Faulkner out of the water.

The Violent is a book by an author who once wrote about the "protestant haunted South." A Roman Catholic from Georgia, her works are steeped in Christian religious symbolism: blood and water are continually referenced throughout her work. The Violent is profound, and yes, very violent. Any literary review will summarize the novel as a book about a back-woods adolescent boy, named Tarwater, and the devastation that is wrought upon him by fundamental Christianity. Good V. evil, etc... The reader must come to his or her own conclusion but only through deep thought and analysis. I think there are many different interpretations of the novel, but what matters most is what the individual reader takes away from the story of Tarwater. Quite definitely an original American masterpiece.

It's a shame O'Conner died at such an early age (she was only 39). We will never know what else Flannery could have produced, however, the works she has left behind speak for themselves and are, somehow enough.
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