Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis campus only



First Advisor

David Rando


This feminist disability study of Flannery O’Connor’s short fiction considers the ways in which the female body, disability, and theology converge. While previous critics have interpreted O’Connor’s female characters to be anti-feminist representations or pro-feminist illustrations of harm perpetrated by a patriarchal society, neither approach holistically incorporates O’Connor’s Catholicism and her chronic illness. This feminist-disability analysis aims to understand O’Connor’s interpretion of an authentic understanding of God. This understanding is centered on the Eucharist as the literal body of Christ and the disability of her female characters as a different, but not necessarily disempowered, state of being. Ultimately, in O’Connor’s theology, female characters are prioritized by their marginalized bodies, which make them more Christ-like and brings them into a better understanding of God.