Part II—All the Colorful, Useless Peafowl [Read part I here]
In part two of O’Connor’s story, Mrs. Shortley has left the farm and Mrs. McIntyre is left with the displaced Pole and her black workers. We’re given more insight into her character through her conversations with the older farmhand, Astor. While Astor remembers well her husband, the Judge, Mrs. McIntyre is haunted by her late husband. Astor has noticed two things: The decline of the peacocks and the incline of Mrs. McIntyre’s greed. Continue reading →
For fans of Flannery O’Connor, “The Displaced Person” is a a short story that occupies a special place, not only because it exhibits her love for peacocks, but because of its more overt religious themes. The story takes place on a farm, the inciting incident being the hiring of a “displaced person” (or refugee) from Poland. O’Connor, a devout Catholic, is one of America’s most famous writers, known for her southern stories of grotesque people encountering beautiful grace.