Flannery O’Conner: "The Displaced Person"

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Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 5 Dec 2011 Flannery O’Conner: The Displaced Person Flannery O’Conner was born on the 25th of March, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia where she spent much of her childhood. When her father was diagnosed with lupus she moved with her family to the rural town of Milledgeville where she lived along with other members of her mother’s family. In 1945 she was awarded a journalism scholarship to attend Iowa State University. (Flannery) It was there that she would decide to pursue a career in fiction rather than fact. After graduating with a Masters in Fine Arts O’Connor spent the next several years living and writing in New York State until she was diagnosed with Lupus, the disease that had killed her father. At that point she moved with her mother to their family farm Andalusia where she would spend the last 13 years of her life writing and raising exotic birds. It was here that Flannery would be inspired to write her longest short story “The Displaced Person” A story which, like much of her work, borrowed heavily from her own life. “The Displaced Person” was a critical commentary on the times in which she lived and she fearlessly confronted controversial issues like racism and emigration. The inspiration for “The Displaced Person” came from an emigrant family that moved to her mother’s farm Andalusia in 1953. “The Matysiaks, (were) a Polish “displaced family” consisting of Jan, the father; Zofia, the mother; twelve year old Alfred; and his younger sister Hedwig” (Gooch, Location 3439). In the story the family the Guizacs closely resembles this real life family of European refugees; however they were certainly not unique in their situation. By 1950 president Truman had convinced congress to pass legislation allowing 400,000 people displaced by the war to seek refuge in America (Daniels 20). To many American’s this veritable wave of
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