English and Modern Languages


Master of Arts (MA)


Mark Harris

Primary Subject Area

Literature, American; Literature, General


cartoons, Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor, photography, short story, visual art


Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor are two southern authors who are well-known among American Literature enthusiasts. Although their overall tones and styles are not often very similar, they definitely had similar expectations of and explanations for how they wrote. Not only did Welty and O'Connor impart to the literary world a variety of fictional works, they also wrote essays, letters, and introductions which provide background information about their own framework of time and place, the relational conflicts within their fiction, and the importance of figurative language in literary art. Though they were sixteen years apart in age and came from different states, they had similar backgrounds in that they both originally planned careers involving the visual arts. For Welty, that medium was photography; for O'Connor, that medium was cartooning. Looking at both their visual arts and their fiction, the audience will find that their tones, though different between the two authors, are consistent within their media. Welty's photographs and her fiction convey a positive and lighthearted tone while O'Connor's cartoons as well as her fiction display a satirical tone. By comparing their works, the audience will see how each author's tone is consistently conveyed through her various arts while also seeing how their differing tones are reflected through their fiction. Such information will show the importance of the authors' visual arts in grasping a full understanding of the context of their writing.