Family relationships in fiction- Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, and Andre Dubus

Essay by kasey16_03College, UndergraduateA, September 2004

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Family Relationships in Fiction

Family relationships played an integral part in the writings of Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, and Andre Dubus. Each author showed the importance of family in situations that the characters encountered. In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," O'Connor showed how a fairly average family dealt with a difficult situation. In Faulkner's short story, "Barn Burning," a family struggled to decide which was more important: family loyalty or doing the right thing. In the Bedroom, a film directed by Todd Field and based on "Killings" by Dubus, demonstrated how a family was affected by horrible tragedy and how the family handled the situation themselves. All three stories illustrated the value of family support during tragedy, whether the family was inflicting the pain or experiencing it.

Flannery O'Connor introduced the family in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" as a typical, somewhat dysfunctional family preparing for a vacation.

Although the family was aware that the Misfit was heading for Florida, the kids insisted that they go there. When the family's car flips, they assumed that the car driving slowly down the hill had come to help. They soon realized it was the Misfit, and that if the grandmother had not mentioned that she recognized them, the outcome of that day would have probably been different. The family was soon put in a predicament. The Misfit and his gang took the family members, beginning with the father and son, out into the woods to kill them. The remaining family stayed amazingly calm and the mother with the baby and the little girl agreed to go into the woods with Bobby Lee and Hiram. It was odd how the people agreed so easily to walk to their deaths. Maybe the father and son...