McIntyre, a widow. Also living on the farm are her employees, a white family by the name of Shortley, a young black man named Sulk, and an older black man called Astor. Father Flynn, a Catholic priest, accompanies the Guizacs to the farm. Guizac proves to be a talented and hardworking man and Mrs. McIntyre is pleased with him. The other workers, especially Mrs.

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McIntyre, a widow. Also living on the farm are her employees, a white family by the name of Shortley, a young black man named Sulk, and an older black man called Astor.

Father Flynn, a Catholic priest, accompanies the Guizacs to the farm. Guizac proves to be a talented and hardworking man and Mrs. McIntyre is pleased with him. The other workers, especially Mrs. Shortley, fear that Mr. Guizac will render them useless and they will lose their jobs. Later, she overhears Mrs. McIntyre planning to fire her. Shortley and her family pack their belongings and leave the farm. McIntyre learns that Sulk is engaged to be married to Mr. McIntyre is furious and unleashes her anger on Mr.

After this Mrs. Guizac, and the priest starts avoiding her in order to avoid the subject. Shortley shows back up at the farm alone. He tells Mrs. McIntyre that Mrs. Shortley has died of a stroke. He blames Mr. Guizac and vows revenge.

McIntyre promises to fire Mr. Shortley complains to the townspeople about her failure and they pressure her into action. McIntyre goes to fire Mr. Guizac one Saturday morning. He is working beneath a tractor, with his legs sticking out. Sulk is nearby. Shortley parks the larger tractor on a hill. The break slips. The tractor starts to roll.

Nobody warns Mr. Guizac and the tractor snaps his spine, killing him. Sulk and Mr. Shortley leave the farm. McIntyre has a nervous collapse and then steadily declines until she is blind, speechless, and bedridden. Visitors are rare, but the priest comes over once a week and talks to her about the Catholic religion. Section 1 The "Displaced Person" begins with the words "The peacock" 1. This particular peacock is trailing Mrs. Shortley, a mountain of a woman, full of "self confidence" 1.

Shortley has reached her destination, the hill. From the hill, Mrs. Shortley focuses her "gaze down the red clay road that turned off from the highway" 1. The aforementioned peacock stands behind her, looking beautiful in the sunlight, looking off into the distance. Shortley sees a black motor vehicle slip in through the gate. Nearby, Astor and Sulk have stopped working 1. McIntyre meets the car, smiling but nervous. The people coming are only workers, like the Shortleys and Astor and Sulk.

McIntyre, the owner of the farm, is all dressed up and making a big deal about the newcomers. The priest gets out of the car first. McIntyre thinks that priest wear their collars backwards so as to be recognized as priests. Shortley is probably a Protestant, and the priest described here is Catholic. During this time in America there were more Protestants than Catholics, and there was much fear and mistrust of Catholics, especially Catholics immigrating to the US.

The priest is responsible for getting the people in the car hired by Mrs. He opens the back door for a young boy and girl, and their mother. From the front of the car exits "the Displaced Person," a man with a bent back, wearing glasses with a gold frame 1.

She watches as the Displaced Person kisses Mrs. McIntyre never would have let Mr. Shortley do that — not that he would have. McIntyre, and Mrs. The priest has earlier told Mrs. McIntyre that the boy twelve was Rudolph, and his sister nine was Sledgewig.

McIntyre, had been referring to them as the "Gobblehooks. They made curtains out of chicken-feed sacks, because Mrs. She also said that the people would be happy to get anything, so long as they could be here instead of their own country where things were going badly. Shortley begins thinking of a newsreel she saw, which showed piles of dead bodies and body parts.

These are images of the Holocaust. Shortley thinks that things like this happen so frequently in Europe because Europe is not as "advanced" as the United States 1. She imagines the "Gobblehooks" as dirty pests that would bring the dark ways of Europe to the US. Maybe, she thinks, the foreigners would do to the Americans what was done to them in their own country. At this thought, Mrs. Shortley begins walking down the hill, determined to check these people out.

Belly first, she moves toward them, stopping to make them see her by staring at the back of Mrs. McIntyre is sixty, and has red hair and blue eyes. She has "buried one husband and divorced two" 1. Shortley respects her because no one has been able to take advantage of her — "except, ha, ha, maybe the Shortleys" 1. McIntyre introduces Mrs.

Shortley and asks where her husband, the dairyman, is. She wants him to meet the Guizacs. Shortley notes that Mrs. Shortley stands back so Mr. Guizac smiles at her and she notices that all the teeth on one side of his mouth are missing. She thinks that Sledgewig is prettier than her own daughters, Annie Maude and Sarah Mae fifteen and seventeen respectively.

Rudolph, on the other hand, is not as good looking as her son H. As Mrs. As mentioned, Mrs. Shortley is probably a Protestant. The Protestant Reformation occurred in the s when some members of the Catholic Church believed that that the Catholic Church needed to be reformed. They and their followers split off from the Catholic Church to form the Protestant church. He is instantly fascinated with the peacock standing behind Mrs.

Shortley, and expresses admiration for its beauty. Apparently, there were some thirty peacocks previously, but she let most of them "die off" 1. Shortley exhibits disdain for the animal. The two women exchange glances. With Mrs. Shortley asks Astor, the older man, and Sulk, the younger, what they think of the Guizacs.

Astor asks her who they are. She tells him they are from "over the water" and that they are "Displaced Persons" 1. Astor reminds her that they do have a place to go, obviously, because they are here. Then she starts threatening Astor and Sulk, warning them that there are many more like the Guizacs, and insinuating that she heard Mrs.


The Displaced Person

Even Mr. Shortley associates the Guizacs with the victims of the World War II death camps, pictures of which she saw in local newsreels; she fears that the Guizacs might be capable of committing the same acts of violence against others. She even imagines that the priest who arranges for the Guizacs to come to the farm is an evil force who came "to plant the Whore of Babylon in the midst of the righteous. Because Mr. Guizac proves to be a much better worker than Mr.


O'Connor's Short Stories

We keep talking about and looking and waiting for the first great work of art — be it literature, or movie, or TV show, or album, whatever — in these Trumpian days. Something that appropriately sums up the times. Not the facts but the feel. The emotional toll.


‘The Displaced Person’ by Flannery O’Connor

The owner of the farm, Mrs. McIntyre, contacts a Catholic priest to find her a " displaced person " to work as a farm hand. The priest finds a Polish refugee named Mr. Guizac who relocates with his family to the farm.

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