Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. John J. McKenna


Flannery O'Connor died in 1963 when she was thirty-nine. Her life and her career were short. Her canon consists of thirty-one short stories, two novels, and a scattered number of essays which were collected after her death and published under the title Mystery and Manners. Although, her short stories were first published in 1946, it was not until the early 1950's that the first distinctive O'Connor story appeared, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." An O'Connor story typically deals with man, the evil within, the misplaced emphasis on external "goodness," and man's final integration with God which comes when he realizes that he is by nature evil. Spiritually, O'Connor's thinking coincides somewhat with the French theologian, Teilhard de Chardin. They both believe in man's ultimate integration with the whole. O'Connor read Teilhard relatively late in her life, after she had already established her own theology. Thus, O'Connor was not influenced by Teilhard; she just agreed with some of his theology.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of English and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1976 Donna Lou Walker

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