Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Literary BioethicsAnimality, Disability, and the Human$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Maren Tova Linett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479801268

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479801268.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Disabled Lives

Disabled Lives

O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away

(p.89) 3 Disabled Lives
Literary Bioethics

Maren Tova Linett

NYU Press

Chapter 3 inserts Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away (1960) into contemporary bioethical discussions about the value of disabled lives. This novel portrays the murder of an intellectually disabled boy, Bishop, by his fourteen-year-old cousin, a murder that serves as the culmination of debates about his value staged in the novel. Considering points of view about the worth of intellectually disabled human beings expressed by O’Connor’s fictional characters alongside those expressed by Peter Singer and other philosophers and bioethicists, the chapter demonstrates a revealing convergence of (ableist) views held by the intensely secular Singer and the fervently Catholic O’Connor. In staging debates about Bishop’s worth in a rationalistic world, O’Connor accepts eugenic positions she purports to critique.

Keywords:   Flannery O’Connor, The Violent Bear It Away, intellectual disability, deafness, bioethics, resistant reading practices, value of lives, moral worth, Peter Singer

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.