As Part I of the story begins, Mrs. 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.
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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. But trouble begins when Mrs. 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. The story is full of such barbs, suggesting that the perceived racial pecking order ultimately overrules any notions of Christian charity. McIntyre thinks to herself as she scolds Guizac. O Raphael, lead us towards those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us!
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. All of these characters are displaced, if not literally, then figuratively.
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. Indeed, Christian charity is a constant challenge. 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. Remember Me.
The Displaced Person Summary
As we noted in discussing "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," O'Connor was able to make use of events which occurred around Milledgeville or else were reported in the newspapers and magazines which she read. The first version of "The Displaced Person" appears to have been at least partly inspired by two incidents; first, by a newspaper story about the Jeryczuks a refugee family , who had settled on a dairy farm near Milledgeville; and second, by the arrival of a refugee family in , who were hired to work at Andalusia, O'Connor's mother's dairy farm. O'Connor, asked, "Do you think they'll [the refugees] know what colors even is? This sentence and the incident which provoked it the making of curtains from different colored feed sacks for the tenant house were moved almost verbatim into the story.
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. McIntyre decides to fire Shortley instead because of his unsatisfactory work.
Flannery O'Connor's Stories Summary and Analysis of "The Displaced Person"
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.