A Late Encounter With The Enemy: Clarified Theme

Length: 2 Pages 376 Words

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 Continue...


youth and refuses to make any additional memories for himself. She wished for him to appear onstage not for him, but for her boastful self. She shows the granddaughter's disrespect to the General and his apathy of her interests. His granddaughter is also nothing more than self-centered. He lives in a dream of beautiful "guls, fancy hotels, parades and special stage appearances. O'Connor makes clear through the plot that life and society is better perceived in the mind's eye than what each individual wishes their perception to be. She wanted to use him as a representation of the past, and as a mockery of her fellow students. O'Connor focuses on the degradation of our society and the loss of family values. O'Connor's plot structure highlights the theme. 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. 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. He took the few memories he'd retained and rewritten his entire life to fit those ideal events. The plot is what imbeds the theme into the reader. She wished to place herself above all the other graduates, even though they achieved the same diploma with half her years.