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Life on Oak Street

From stop sign to stop sign, this is home. The street that I lived on for the first ten years of my life will always be with me. The street in front of my house is where I spent most of my time, either playing various sports and occasionally moving for the passing car, or running through the gutters when a flash flood would hit town. Oak Street was its infamous name. It was home.

The street takes many shapes and forms when you are a kid. We used it for everything: riding bikes, playing various sports, coloring on it with chalk, etc. The street was more home than my house was. I don’t meant that in a gangster way either. Friends have come and gone, and so have cars, but that street always holds the same familiar feeling.

Lots of events have occurred in front of my home on Oak Street. A car crashed right across the street, in my neighbors yard. Entangled in excitement, everyone was out of their house to see the action. Turns out that there was a high speed chase that had been going on for about an hour. Where did it end up? Right on the section of street that holds a special place in my heart.

I rode my first bike on this street. I also crashed many times on the dirty asphalt. The curb of the sidewalk in front of my house is where I would jump my bike. This simple thing never seemed to get old. All over the street, I would jump and ride my bike. Many a time I would come into the house with the water works turned on full blast to show mom a road rash the size of a baseball. The street was never very friendly, but I still loved it. No one could take me away from the street. After being bandaged up, I would head out to my “home” for some more playing. The street always seemed to be happy that I was back for some more fun.

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…was an object that was always visible. The red fire hydrant seemed to be guarding its section of sidewalk, as no car would dare threaten it. Along with the curb painted to match, the hydrant was a symbol of authority.

Street lights were also a big part of Oak Street. On every light post, a neighborhood watch sign was secured. These old, dented signs were targets of various games played on the street. The ones not dented and abused by us were vandalized by earlier inhabitants of Oak Street.

Every kid who graced their presence on this street left a piece of them with it when they left. As I have, they have also taken a piece of it with them. Oak Street was a childhood symbol of what we knew as the world. The 1/8th mile stretch will be always remembered for its good times and its bad times. A chunk of asphalt sitting on the desert landscape meant freedom to me.

The Antagonistic View of Sexuality in O’Connor Wise Blood

The Antagonistic View of Sexuality in Wiseblood

In the novel Wiseblood, by Flannery O’Connor, one finds an unpleasant, almost antagonistic view of sexuality. The author seems to regard sex as an evil, and harps on this theme throughout the novel. Each sexual incident which occurs in the novel is tainted with grotesquem. Different levels of the darker side of sexuality are exposed, from perversion to flagrant displays of nudity. It serves to give the novel a bit of a moralistic overtone.

The “Carnival Episode” illustrated Hazel’s first experience with sexuality. The author depicts an incident surrounded by an aura of sinfulness. Indeed, the show’s promoter claims that it is “SINsational.” In his anxiousness to view the sideshow, Haze resorted to lying about his age. He was that eager to see it. When he enters the tent, Haze observes the body of an obese naked woman squirming in a casket lined with black cloth. He leaves the scene quickly.

This first bout with sexuality was certainly a grotesque one, and one which, perhaps, helped fortify his resolve not to experiment with sex for years to come. Haze reacted to the incident on different levels. Before watching the “show,” he was filled with curiosity. So badly he wanted to view this “EXclusive” show. After glancing at the body, he first thought that it was a skinned animal. When he realized what it was, he at once left the tent, ashamed, and perhaps frightened of the object before his eyes.

Hazel’s reaction was not unnatural. The sight with which he was confronted would invoke both fear and embarrassment within most ten-year-olds. Not only was the body nude, but it was inside a casket as well. The author parallels this vulgar d…

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…inful, for it is wrong.

Through the depiction of Mrs. Leora Watts and Hazel’s first sexual encounter, it is more than evident that the novel treats the subject of sexuality in a distasteful manner. Leora Watts is the physical manifestation of the author’s disdain for sexuality and prostitution. She is both repulsive and grotesque. Sexuality is treated as an ugly thing, and sex for pleasure is seen as immoral.

In the novel Wiseblood, the reader is confronted with an antagonistic and adverse view of sexuality. The novel represents sex as an evil, one which encourages the basest forms of human behavior. Through individuals like Leora Watts and Enoch Emery, the author depicts people whom have reached the depths of perversion and the grotesque.

Works Cited:

O’Connor, Flannery. Wise Blood. Three by Flannery O’Connor. New York: Signet, 1962.

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