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Lecture 33

ENG328Y1 Lecture Notes - Moral Agency, Martyr Complex
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by OneClass2419470 , Fall 2016
4 Pages
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Fall 2016

Department
English
Course Code
ENG328Y1
Professor
Greig Henderson
Lecture
33

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O'Connor
A Good Man is Hard to Find
The misfit is a psychotic Christ figure
Everything that rises must converge
Rhetoric of belief that appeals to share Judaeo-Christian values
Deploys a focalised narration
The reducing class was de- signed for working girls over fifty, who weighed
from 165 to 200 pounds. His mother was one of the slimmer ones, but she said
ladies did not tell their age or weight. She would not ride the buses by herself at
night since they had been integrated, and because the reducing class was one
of her few pleasures, necessary for her health, and free, she said Julian could
at least put himself out to take her, considering all she did for him. Julian did not
like to consider all she did for him, but every Wednesday night he braced
himself and took her.
Martyr complex
Not quite in the same category as Saint Sebastian
Julian's point of view is the focus
Resents his mother's ignorance
Sees her as innocent and untouched
But everything he thinks of her can be applied to himself
He is a lot more unexperienced than he thinks
Lacks charity, full of violence, resentment and resignation
Late 1950s, just after the civil rights movement
Buses have just been integrated
He walked along, saturated in depression, as if in the midst of his martyrdom he
had lost his faith.
Every thought gives him away
He resents his mother
“They don't give a damn for your graciousness,” Julian said savagely.
“Knowing who you are is good for one generation only. You haven't the
foggiest idea where you stand now or who you are.”
Rebound ironically back onto him
He doesn’t have the foggiest idea of where he stands or who he is
Mother's genteel and condescending attitude is out of joint with her socio-
economic situation
Not the south of magnificent plantations
Profound disconnect between worldview and world
No longer adequate for the world she lives in
Same nostalgia as in Bailee's mother in AGMIHTF
Julian's dreams of wish-fulfilment and fantasy-gratification
Also has a nostalgia for the past that he isn't willing to acknowledge
He never spoke of it without contempt or thought of it without longing. He
had seen it once when he was a child before it had been sold. The
double stairways had rotted and been torn down. Negroes were living in
it. But it remained in his mind as his mother had known it. It appeared in
his dreams regularly. He would stand on the wide porch, listening to the
rustle of oak leaves, then wander through the high-ceilinged hall into the
parlor that opened onto it and gaze at the worn rugs and faded draperies.
It occurred to him that it was he, not she, who could have appreciated it.
He preferred its threadbare elegance to anything he could name and it
was because of it that all the neighborhoods they had lived in had been a
torment to him - whereas she had hardly known the difference.
no matter what he says, he is haunted by race and class
His claims are notional, not real, attitudinal rather than behavioural
Traffics in stereotypes rather than in actual people
How you do things is because of who you are
Behind the newspaper Julian was withdrawing into the inner compartment of his
mind where he spent most of his time. This was a kind of mental bubble in
which he established himself when he could not bear to be a part of what was
going on around him. From it he could see out and judge but in it he was safe
from any kind of penetration from without. It was the only place where he felt
free of the general idiocy of his fellows. His mother had never entered it but
from it he could see her with absolute clarity.
Defence mechanism
The old lady was clever enough and he thought that if she had started
from any of the right premises, more might have been expected of her.
She lived according to the laws of her own fantasy world outside of which
he had never seen her set foot.
Constantly trying to assert his superiority of his mother
Most miraculous of all, instead of being blinded by love for her as she was for
him, he had cut himself emotionally free of her and could see her with complete
objectivity. He was not dominated by his mother.
So he thinks but his rhetoric of self congratulation is on her
True irony is that his mother really is self-sacrificial
And is truly charitable even if condescending or confined to her own
race
Black people are simply instruments to Julian
Wants to converse with the "better types"
Futile attempt at convergence when asking for a light
Liberal stereotypes of black people are just as racist as his mother's
"Negro man" is a rhetorical instrument rather than a person
Tries to teach his mother a lesson
Clear that black people are instruments of his resentment and revenge
Hoped the boy would sit with him and the woman would sit by his mother
Ends up getting the same swapping of sons from AGMIHTF
Women wearing the same hat
He thinks it's to teach his mother a lesson but it is actually for him
And she is going purple, a sign of her blood pressure rising
Boy's mother doesn't like the condescending gesture of being given a nickel
Infantile regression on both of their parts when she falls
Emotional repressions express themselves
Teilhard de Chardin - Jesuit philosopher
Title indebted to him
Argues that evolution continues to progress to higher levels of
consciousness
Tending towards the omega-point, God
Bringing protagonist to a vision of themselves as they really are
Closer to the omega-point
Characters forced to endure the pain and anguish of self-recognition
Intellectual sterility of the environment into which he is thrown
His ascent to liberalism is notional
Julien's mother ends up converging with Caroline, black nurse
Various failures to converge
Irony is the operative trope
But also moral affirmations
Circumference of the narrators' consciousness is greater than the
character's
Julien's reliability
Lots of contradictions
As out of touch with reality as his mother
Self-defensive rhetoric through which his viciousness shines through
Mother sees reactionary stereotypes just as Julien sees liberal
stereotypes
Must everything that rises converge or does everything that converges
regress?
On the verge or becoming a genuinely moral agent
Story of false pride, regression and maybe recognition
Does contain religious words and there's his sense of martyrdom along with
the gratuitousness of grace at the end
David Lodge on Realist Fiction
Realism seems to simply be what it is
Works because it disguises its own conventionality
Advertised itself as natural
Poetics of fiction evolved in the 50s and 60s
Aristotle's poetics - theory of literary forms
Homodiegetic vs. heterodiegetic narrator
Lecture 33
Monday, February 13, 2017
2:10 PM

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Description
Lecture 33 Monday, February 13, 2017 2:10 PM O'Connor A Good Man is Hard to Find The misfit is a psychotic Christ figure Everything that rises must converge Rhetoric of belief that appeals to share Judaeo-Christian values Deploys a focalised narration The reducing class was de- signed for working girls over fifty, who weighed from 165 to 200 pounds. His mother was one of the slimmer ones, but she said ladies did not tell their age or weight. She would not ride the buses by herself at night since they had been integrated, and because the reducing class was one of her few pleasures, necessary for her health, and free, she said Julian could at least put himself out to take her, considering all she did for him. Julian did not like to consider all she did for him, but every Wednesday night he braced himself and took her. Martyr complex Not quite in the same category as Saint Sebastian Julian's point of view is the focus Resents his mother's ignorance Sees her as innocent and untouched But everything he thinks of her can be applied to himself He is a lot more unexperienced than he thinks Lacks charity, full of violence, resentment and resignation Late 1950s, just after the civil rights movement Buses have just been integrated He walked along, saturated in depression, as if in the midst of his martyrdom he had lost his faith. Every thought gives him away He resents his mother They don't give a damn for your graciousness, Julian said savagely. Knowing who you are is good for one generation only. You haven't the foggiest idea where you stand now or who you are. Rebound ironically back onto him He doesnt have the foggiest idea of where he stands or who he is Mother's genteel and condescending attitude is out of joint with her socio-
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