Study Guide

The Displaced Person Religion

By Flannery O'Connor

Religion

Mrs. Shortly looked at the priest and was reminded that none of these people have an advanced religion. (1.3)

Through Mrs. Shortly, O'Connor alludes to tensions between Protestants and Catholics in the South during this time period.

"I ain't going to have the Pope of Rome tell me how to run no dairy," Mr. Shortley said. (1.49)

A fairly common belief circulating for much of US history was that Catholic immigrants to the US would be loyal to the Pope, and not to America.

"I reckon that priest is putting him up to it is all. I blame the priest." (1.101)

Mrs. Shortley is talking about the arranged marriage between Sulk and Mr. Guizac's cousin. We aren't sure exactly why she thinks the priest is behind this. What do you think?

"Christ will come like that!" (2.12)

Father Flynn is referring to the peacock, which, as we discuss in "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory" he sees as a symbol of the Church.

After he had fed the peacock, he would come in and sit by her bed and explain the doctrines of the Church. (3.65)

This is a problematic moment, depending on how you look at things. Is the Priest taking advantage of Mrs. McIntyre's condition to make her listen to him? Is her consent important? Why or why not?

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