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Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor$
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Alison Arant and Jordan Cofer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496831798

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496831798.001.0001

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Country People: Depictions of Farm Women in Flannery O’Connor’s Short Fiction

Country People: Depictions of Farm Women in Flannery O’Connor’s Short Fiction

Chapter:
(p.112) Country People: Depictions of Farm Women in Flannery O’Connor’s Short Fiction
Source:
Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor
Author(s):

Monica Carol Miller

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496831798.003.0008

Monica Miller recuperates O’Connor’s female farmers and mothers, women whose labor keeps their dependents financially stable but whose complaints and unhappiness often invite censure from other characters as well as readers and critics. Miller offers a more sympathetic reading of these women, suggesting that their preoccupations might stem less from pettiness than from practical concerns about managing farms and finances. To support her argument, Miller draws on archival material newly acquired by Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. These materials, excerpted here for the first time, provide context about the realities of managing Andalusia, the O’Connor family farm. Ultimately, Miller argues that through these women farmers and mothers, O’Connor’s stories offer a realistic representation of farm life that corrects the romantic depictions that appear in the fiction of many of O’Connor’s contemporaries.

Keywords:   Female farmers, Representations of mothers, Farm life, Realism, Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

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