A Late Encounter With The Enemy: Clarified Theme

             O’Connor’s short story “A Late Encounter With The Enemy” deals with social changes and their effects on reality. The evolution of the relationships between family members has actually altered our society as a whole; although we still respect and admire the family unit, there has been a change in the behaviors and motives to hold the family together. O’Connor emphasizes the contrasting views on family relations through Sally Poker and the “General”. Mr. Sash does not have a firm grip on what reality is. He represses all recollections of his youth and refuses to make any additional memories for himself. He lives in a dream of beautiful “guls”, fancy hotels, parades and special stage appearances. He took the few memories he’d retained and rewritten his entire life to fit those ideal events. O’Connor allows the General to here a unique line from a speaker at the graduation, but it is as though O’Connor herself is revealing the theme to the reader: “If we forget our past, we won’t remember our future and it will be as well for we won’t have one.” O’Connor focuses on the degradation of our society and the loss of family values. She shows the granddaughter’s disrespect to the General and his apathy of her interests. Mr. Sash is not even remotely impressed with Sally’s graduation; on the other hand, he is highly impressed with himself and only attends the graduation to exhibit himself. His granddaughter is also nothing more than self-centered. She wished for him to appear onstage not for him, but for her boastful self. She wanted to use him as a representation of the past, and as a mockery of her fellow students. She wished to place herself above all the other graduates, even though they achieved the same diploma with half her years. O’Connor’s plot structure highlights the theme. The plot is what imbeds the theme into the reader. The graduation reveals each character’s true feeling t...

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A Late Encounter With The Enemy: Clarified Theme. (1969, December 31). In MegaEssays.com. Retrieved 13:02, January 20, 2017, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/7825.html