Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


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English (M.A.)

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In Flannery O ’Connor’s “The Displaced Person,” each character works to forcefully displace others from their positions in a way that can be likened to colonization. Farm owner Mrs. McIntyre thinks she can act as a colonizer, but instead she has merely a position of power. Because she believes in her authority, she works to defend it; since she has nothing to defend, her efforts are fruitless. With the death of Guizac, the question of power is resolved: she has none. Instead, she had the illusion of power since she had workers beneath her. With them gone, there is no longer anyone for her to be “above,” and so her illusion is dispelled. Indeed, the reader should not have even been surprised when Mrs. McIntyre exclaims in vain, “This is my place.” She has been deluding herself throughout the story to think it was even her place in the beginning.


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