In her essay "The Regional Writer" O'Connor states that "Unless the [writer] has gone utterly out of his mind, his aim is still communication and communication suggests talking inside a community" (source: Collected Works, 844). Her concern is obvious in "The Displaced Person," where communication is often charged with clashes over race, religion, class, and immigration. Her characters speak in a variety of rich idioms meant to display not only some of the nastiest comments ever, but also to capture through language the rhythm of her community. In "The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South" O'Connor claims that "A distinctive idiom is a powerful instrument for keeping fiction social. When one Southern character speaks, regardless of his station in life, an echo of all Southern life is heard" (source: Collected Works, 855). We'd love to hear what you think of that statement once you've explored the story.
Even though the Shortleys are portrayed in a mostly negative way, they provide us with positive examples of marital communication.
Mrs. McIntyre belittles her employees to keep them under her control.