Madeleine L’Engle once said that, “we turn to stories because they tell us who, and what, and why we are.” That idea, that stories affect us, that stories are meaningful, and that stories, regardless of their medium, are more than entertainment drives this blog.

I firmly believe that stories–whether they be in books, television shows, movies, or even songs–are worthy of consideration. In many cases they’re worthy of more than a simple review. It’s not enough to say that this film or that book is good or bad, it might be helpful to go deeper, to examine why it’s good, or what it’s saying about reality.

That’s why the subheader for this site is what it is: “Reviews and Discussion of Stories and Storytelling.” If you peruse the archives you’ll find that the discussions far outweigh the reviews, and that’s intentional.

I hope that this blog is a place for in-depth discussion about stories. I’ll organize my thoughts here, post papers I write, and, of course, discuss stories.

One of the major dangers in discussing stories, though, is that the discussion often boils down to the simple question, “what is the theme of the story?” Now, in and of itself, the question isn’t wrong, but as Flannery O’Connor points out the question can sometimes frame the story as, “simply a problem to be solved, something which you evaporate to get Instant Enlightenment.” This misses the point entirely, for, as she says elsewhere, “you tell a story because a statement would be inadequate.”

A story is an experience and so, while analysis is important, the discussion of a story must be understood in the context of what a story is–namely, an experience. With that in mind, I hope to avoid this reductionism in my posts. I’ll do my best to approach stories honestly, and not simplistically.

About Me

There’s not much to say about me. My name is Christopher Larson, I’m 16, and I live in the unfairly hot state of Florida. Due to the excessive amount of heat, I’ve spent plenty of time with books–in air conditioning, of course. That means I’ve read a fair amount, and I love doing it. But it isn’t just books that fascinate me. I love stories, regardless of their medium.

Recorded here, in this blog, are the thoughts of a High School student on the stories he experiences. If discussing, analyzing, and journeying through good stories sounds appealing to you then welcome aboard. Please chime in if you have anything at all to say, and enjoy your time here.

6 thoughts on “About the Blog

  1. This is a “bulls eye” analysis of Flannery O’Conner first published story, “The Geranium.” it was part of her MFA Thesis. She described it as her favorite. It is perhaps the best story foe newer readers to enter the O’Conner canon, as it mixes humor and irony. She likely got the inspiration for it while visiting New York (in about 1947-48) while working on getting her stories published. Besides what’s mentioned in the excellent review on this blog, is the idea of Dudley (does his name sound like a dud or a nothing?) is a misplaced person seeking to restore his sense of place and purpose in New York. Instead of supporting his irrational belief that New York could be much like rural Georgia. he chooses to see himself as a prisoner in a tenement jail. He declines every opportunity to receive God’s grace by denying the graciousness of his daughter and his African American neighbor. The geranium’s roots are exposed and being sapped of their life and energy in the end like Dudley. He lacks the power to save himself and the geranium because he is stuck in his racist fears and his inability to adapt to his new world.

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    1. Thanks Murray for your kind comment! I think you’re exactly right about Dudley, and that’s a great approach to it. It also fits in with a major theme of O’Connor’s, which is the destruction of the main character’s self-perception. This reading of “The Geranium” emphasizes that more.

      Also, for those wondering, Murray is referring to this article: https://thereandblogagain.com/2014/05/14/control-and-geraniums-an-analysis-of-the-geranium-by-flannery-oconnor/

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  2. I just began the full collection of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories, and I’m pleased to discover your blog with all its analyses of her work. Your quotes page alone has assured me that I’m in the right place. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world, and with me. I look forward to reading more of your posts about O’Connor and more!

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    1. Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and finding it helpful. O’Connor is a fascinating figure, and her stories are phenomenal. I’ll hopefully have more analysis up soon—and if you have something you’d like me to talk about, just let me know.

      Thanks for reading!

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  3. Hi ,I am teaching a class on Flannery O’Connor this summer, covering a few short stories each week. This week my class is discussing “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” One of the story’s themes is trust. The grandmother agrees with Reds statement that there isn’t anyone on God’s green earth that you can trust. She even adds that nobody is an exception to that statement. I will ask my students whether they agree or disagree with that statement. In the story, she preaches Christian values and is the least trustworthy character in the story. Trust can have both a positive and negative side. The Misfit cannot be trusted to meet the grandmother’s Christian perspectives, but within the world that he lives in, he is more consistent in his words and actions.After the grandmother recognized the Misfit, were his actions more understandable? By examining our reaction of these characters, we can definitely learn a lot about ourselves.

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    1. Absolutely. I haven’t thought about it in precisely those terms, but it’s an interesting approach. I might differ just slightly, however. O’Connor once wrote that, “redemption is meaningless without a cause.” The Grandmother trusts her self-assessment that she is a good woman. In doing so, she rejects a central Christian doctrine–that we are not good in ourselves. She trusts herself too much, leading to self-deception.

      Nevertheless, that’s a fascinating approach. Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment!

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