Judy Vasseur's Reviews > The Violent Bear It Away

The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
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's review
Jan 19, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Read in January, 2009

If you ever wondered why there’s no humor in the Bible or death, Flannery O'Connor found plenty. Masterful writing. Every sentence constructed like a precision instrument.

During his adolescent expectancy of bombastic biblical beckoning and reckoning, young Tarwater veers wildly between the mad extremes of seduction and dissent. He waits for a sign...maybe a burning bush, thunderous voice, or being swallowed and vomited by a whale.

Hilarious examination of religious symbolism. To the 14 year old the idea of eating a broken fish and multiplied loaf for eternity is horrific. As frightened as he is of The Bread of Life he hungers for it. Tarwater and Rayber accuse each other of being successfully seeded. (The seed that fell on good ground, etc.) There’s a tightly wound tension of being drawn to destruction while seeking transformation from boredom, meaningless, and anonymity.

How does one deal with opposing extremes in their life? You can integrate or deny. An artist living in the deep south with a rigorous religious education might understand that.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Andrew No humor in the Bible? Are we reading different Bibles? Some of it is laugh out loud!

Judy Vasseur I guess so! And I am relieved to find that out!

The time I tried to read the Bible I was frightened and almost had a nervous breakdown. But I might experience the Bible differently now after reading Flannery O’Connor. I would have liked to have known her.

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