Death of the General in O’Connor’s A Late Encounter with the Enemy
I did an analysis of the paragraph where the General passes away (page 143 in my edition of The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor) The most obvious thing about this paragraph is that is that the General’s death is portrayed as death during battle. The title “The Late Encounter with the Enemy” is very appropriate because the general views his death as such.
The most obvious thing about this paragraph is that it is like a battle. Words are used as bullets in this paragraph. For example, “He couldn’t protect himself from the words and attend to the procession too and the words were coming at him fast.”(143) makes it really seem like a battle. Since he was a general, it would be appropriate that his death be viewed as a battle. The grim reaper like figure in the black robe immediately identifies the presence of death. It seems pretty clear that death is his enemy in this case. This example indicates that; “Then he saw the figure in the black robe sit down and there was a noise and the black pool in the front of him began to rumble and to flow toward him from either side to the black slow music”(143)
The language of this paragraph identifies it with war. For example words such as Chickamauga, Shiloh, and Marthasville are present. Interestingly enough the General mentions in the prior paragraph that he heard the words Chickamauga, Shiloh, Johnston, and Lee, and that he knew that these words that he was inspiring meant nothing to him. These words ended up stirring up the picture in his mind at the time of his death. Even when he returns to those words at the time of his death, he...