McIntyre, a widow. Also living on the farm are her employees, a white family by the name of Shortley, a young black man named Sulk, and an older black man called Astor. Father Flynn, a Catholic priest, accompanies the Guizacs to the farm. Guizac proves to be a talented and hardworking man and Mrs. McIntyre is pleased with him.

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This stance may have been part and parcel of her attitude toward topical writing. Their new home had a stove, but no indoor plumbing, and its curtains were made from feed sacks—not much different from the houses James Agee and Walker Evans had documented nearly twenty years earlier in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

The Matysiaks were not a complete anomaly. Shortley, reacts to it with a deep fear, setting the tone for the rest of the story. Whatever evil had caused the death of all those people, she thinks, has infected these refugees, and is now in danger of infecting America: Watching from her vantage point, Mrs.

Shortley had the sudden intuition that the Gobblehooks, like rats with typhoid fleas, could have carried all those murderous ways over the water with them directly to this place.

If they had come from where that kind of thing was done to them, who was to say they were not the kind that would also do it to others? The width and breadth of this question nearly shook her.

Her stomach trembled as if there had been a slight quake in the heart of the mountain and automatically she moved down from her elevation and went forward to be introduced to them, as if she meant to find out at once what they were capable of.

The word Holocaust is never used in the story—nor are Jew and Hitler. In the absence of specificity, the mass murder feels somehow even more mysterious, senseless, and unspeakable. But it also puts the reader more firmly in Mrs. The Shortleys oversee Astor and Sulk, two black men who have been hired hands for some time. Shortley dies of a stroke and a refugee named Mr.

Guizac, known throughout the story as only the Displaced Person, threatens to upset the social order. With Mr. Shortley gone attending to the funeral arrangements, Mrs. The rest of the story focuses on Mrs. McIntyre and her struggle to get rid of the Guizacs. McIntyre says, confronting the Displaced Person. I can run it without you. McIntyre thinks to herself as she scolds Guizac. Lonely and tired, crushed by the separations and sorrows of earth, we feel the need of calling to you and of pleading for the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the Province of Joy, all ignorant of the concerns of our country.

Shortley, feeling that his job might be at risk, begins complaining to Mrs. When a priest tries to calm Mrs. These displaced persons are dark agents of change. Their pitifulness causes them, and the reader, to confront the radical command to love our neighbor as ourselves, to be like the Good Samaritan who sets aside deeply engrained bigotry to minister to the needy.

They are in need of refuge and willing to work hard to earn their keep. These encounters end, at best, in neglect, but they can also lead to violence. While her friends and contemporaries were winning grants and traveling abroad, she was marooned in Georgia. Only those who fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, cared for the ill, and visited the imprisoned will be gain eternal life. In this way, Mrs. He lives in Northern Michigan, where he directs the creative-writing program at Interlochen Center for the Arts.


The Displaced Person

McIntyre and the woman who works on her farm, Mrs. Shortley, are watching as the Guizac family arrives to work on the farm. The new family, whose arrival has been organized by a priest, Father Flynn, is Polish and has been displaced due to the war. Father Flynn marvels at the peacock that has followed Mrs. Shortley to the scene, and Mrs.


Flannery O'Connor's Stories Summary and Analysis of "The Displaced Person"

Even Mr. Shortley associates the Guizacs with the victims of the World War II death camps, pictures of which she saw in local newsreels; she fears that the Guizacs might be capable of committing the same acts of violence against others. She even imagines that the priest who arranges for the Guizacs to come to the farm is an evil force who came "to plant the Whore of Babylon in the midst of the righteous. Because Mr. Guizac proves to be a much better worker than Mr. Shortley, Mrs.


‘The Displaced Person’ by Flannery O’Connor

We keep talking about and looking and waiting for the first great work of art — be it literature, or movie, or TV show, or album, whatever — in these Trumpian days. Something that appropriately sums up the times. Not the facts but the feel. The emotional toll. The existential crisis that defines these days. Well, here it is. That says a lot about how keenly ahead of her times she was.


O'Connor's Short Stories

The owner of the farm, Mrs. McIntyre, contacts a Catholic priest to find her a " displaced person " to work as a farm hand. The priest finds a Polish refugee named Mr. Guizac who relocates with his family to the farm. Because the displaced person is quite industrious, the Shortleys, a family of white farm hands, feel threatened and try to manipulate Mrs. McIntyre into firing Guizac, but Mrs.

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