Monday, October 17, 2011

The Violent Bear it Away - Flannery O'Conner

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom
of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away." Matthew 11:12

A young boy, Francis Tarwater, grows up alone with his uncle on a farm. His Uncle, a self professed prophet has kidnapped Tarwater from the boys other Uncle Rayber, the "school teacher", in order to teach the boy the Lord's work, which the prophet supplements from income he earns from his still. The prophet proselytises faith and God, but the school teacher in turn proselytizes secularism and rationality.
Tarwater struggles against God's calling, the power of passion and the dominance of destiny.
This was an amazing book. Flannery O'Conner is a gripping storyteller. Her book is almost visceral, something you have to scratch out from beneath your fingernails when you've finished. Her argument that destiny and religion will dominate over the secular is compelling and leaves the reader with a sense that we are mere powerless actors reading scripts written for us from the beginning of time.

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