Jacob’s Book by Flannery O’Connor

What can be learned about Jacob and/or what motivates him, from the book he was reading when we see John Locke come crashing to the ground, after Anthony Cooper threw him out of the window. He was reading a book written by Flannery O’Connor.

Flannery O’Connor felt deeply informed by the sacramental, and by the ‘Thomist’ (St. Thomas of Aquinas) notion that the created world is charged with God. Yet she would not write apologetic fiction of the kind prevalent in the Catholic literature of the time, explaining that a writer’s meaning must be evident in his or her fiction without didacticism. She wrote ironic, subtly allegorical fiction about deceptively backward Southern characters, usually fundamentalist Protestants, who undergo transformations of character that to O’Connor’s thinking brought them closer to the Catholic mind.

The transformation is often accomplished through pain, violence, and ludicrous behavior in the pursuit of the holy. However grotesque the setting, she tried to portray her characters as they might be touched by divine grace. This ruled out a sentimental understanding of the stories’ violence, as of her own illness.

O’Connor wrote: ‘Grace changes us and change is painful.’ She also had a deeply sardonic sense of humor, often based in the disparity between her characters’ limited perceptions and the awesome fate awaiting them. Another source of humor is frequently found in the attempt of well-meaning liberals to cope with the rural South on their own terms. O’Connor uses such characters’ inability to come to terms with race, poverty, and fundamentalism, other than in sentimental illusions, as an example of the failure of the secular world in the twentieth century.

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~ Contrary to popular misconception, karma has nothing to do with punishment and reward. It exists as part of our holographic universe’s binary or dualistic operating system only to teach us responsibility for our creations—and all things we experience are our creations. ~

28 thoughts on “Jacob’s Book by Flannery O’Connor

  1. Great look on this Dabsi, you know I love Lost Literature, and this is a great interpretation. I must say, I am not familiar with her work, and will check out the book…
    So allow me to ask a few questions on it, is it something along the lines of tragedy creating unity?

  2. AES, I haven’t read any of her work! I caught the title of the book while he was sitting on the bench, and looked it up on Wikipedia.

    Apparently, it was a work of short stories, but she wrote other novels too.

    I thought the general description of her work, was insightful in terms of Jacob, and what he was interesting in reading.

    He can either relate to the subject matter firsthand and/or has a wicked or perverse sense of humour, whichever you look at it!

  3. Either way well done on inserting another this post into a mess of tangled bitches and moans of last nights episode. Its at least one thing that can be noted and not argued about, and as all Lost books do, means something more than just a book some guy was reading…

  4. Thanks, AES you know I drink, eat and sleep all that is Lost.

    Talk about irony! What a book for him to be reading!

    Ignore the nitpicking.

  5. yoyoy dabs! i just finished watching the episodes, but i dont get a good picture on t’internet but im glad you noticed this cos i wouldnt be able to see it on my “krackle-vision”

    i know i very tiny amount on this lovely lady.

    in context of your idea, what it has got o do with jacob, i rember Flannery being lonely and somewhat of a recluse, which as far as weve seen is like jacob.

    jacob perhaps feels he can only achove what he wants to with being alone, in the same way flannery, becuase of the whole catholic v protestant thing, felt she had to be a recluse to write what she wanted, which actually wasnt the case PARANOID! haha!

    strange that ive heard of her, i rember doing stuff about Stephen Crane to!

    god bless my english teacher he actually taught us usful things! hahaha!

    great post!


  6. losts-columbo, really glad you enjoyed the episode! It is one that if you need to have a clear picture on, and it has to be seen twice to fully appreciate the full effect.

    I am so loving the twist of Locke & Locke! lol I think you likely have a good idea where this is going to go next season, with the two of them! Shhhh…

    I am also loving the possibilities of where jacob and his nemesis originate from. Lost of possibilities there.

    I read that this lady was ill and reclusive, and given the time she lived in, and from the south, where it’s all brimstone and fire, that she likely had reason to feel paranoid about what she was writing.

    Your teacher was very good! I’d never heard of her before!

  7. haah! well, im goin to watch it again at my friends on a real life tele! so ill be ableto see your catch this time round!

    yeah poor flannery, it was her disease that cast her away, she never wantedvisitors because of it!

    we studied stephn crane as wel, theyre kinda both big influential “cult” writers in american history. interesting people! just like jacob. i dont know if you clocked on to it, but, didnt you find it very interseting the last thing that jacob said to the young losties?

    it was like he was inserting a game packinto them, ie with jack he said “just push a little harder next time”, its like hes instilled a motive to their lifes at some point, to make it significant later on.

    he was a very good teacher, mr brooker his name was!


  8. losts-columbo, she had Lupus, from what I read. I don’t know much about that disease.

    I will also have to check out Stephen Crane, too.

    Glad you’ll be viewing on real life television! You will catch all of the fine details.

    I took note of what Jacob was saying to each lostie, and I agree he implanted a ‘theme’ with them, that they would reach for later on in life.

    It really makes you think about the sometimes meaningless or purposeful conversations we have with strangers we meet in life, doesn’t it?

    That’s what I got from it. It kind of gives you shivers when you think about it.

  9. no shivers for me dabs!
    #from a young age i could control the weather, it was my friend, if i wanted a dry day and it was windy and wet the night before, i would lay in bed and say to the weather, please, if you can calm down for its my birthday tomorow and id like a nice day. and without fail, it was nice the next day.

    i cant rember the last time i tried, but for some reason i just get the feeling that im not supposed to try anymore?

    lots of things in our life are strange, and give you the shivers, but i agree with jacobs sentiments, you have a choice.

    i made my choice and never asked the wheather again. i dont know why? but it was my choice.


  10. losts-columbo, I get the point you are making! lol

    It actually works if you tell yourself you won’t have colds, etc.

    The power of choice, and your own will, accompanied with positive thinking is a very powerful thing.

    I believe that thoughts create your reality, in the way and how you will experience them, if that makes sense.

    Some people might not believe in that, but I do. One positive thought, cancels out many negative ones. I suppose some people would liken it to prayer.

  11. i knwo exactly what you mean dabs! but i certainly wouldnt liken it to prayer!

    thoughts do create yor own reality, is a good point, you sit about and do nothing, nothing will happen.

    you be proative and you open lots of doors, then the more chance you get to make somthing happen, your making a choice, and a positive choice means posiive doors, and positive doors mean your creating free will.

    i disagree with prayer.

    prayer is for people with no self confdence which is a terrible and underappreciated illness, prayer teaches people with this that nothing they do is their own good work its “gods or jesus”

    but yes, no god talk tonight.

    i must sleep, i willtalk to yo again soon though dabs,and as C,S lewis said if free will never existed with god then there would be no such thing as hell! and those who seek, find and those who know it is opened. (i think thats how it goes! ahah!)

    arevaderci mio prefeiti teorico


  12. I wouldn’t either, but I know some would.

    Some people would have a very difficult time believing that you create your own reality, and have a hand in your own destiny. That has nothing to do with formalized religion, as you know.

    I fully subscribe to creating free will. I mean who could argue with CS Lewis, let alone you!

    Positivity creates positivity, and thus the other side of the coin, is present. I cancel those out, personally! lol

    Listen, have a good sleep and thanks for chatting it up with me tonight. Always such informative conversation. I learn a lot from you!

    Talk with you soon!

    Ciao, my bella!

  13. you learn alot, ut you have to expand on your italiano! i did! i call you something diffrent each night! ahha!

    good night, have a good day tomorow!


  14. losts-columbo, this is what it translated for me!

    My theoretical arevaderci Prefeito

    So, that doesn’t say too much, except goodbye!

  15. well it actually means, good bye my favourite theorist!

    sorry, my italian is poor at the best of times but i do provare! (try) ((i think hahah))!

    good night.

  16. I finally am enjoying thinking about Jacob since we saw so much of him!

    I liked earlier conversation on how he gave the 815ers something, and physically touched them at some point.

    I’m in the middle of watching it again. I’ll be back to this later!

  17. I’ve read a few of her short stories, including the one that the collection Jacob was reading was named after, and they are exceptional. Just like Lost O’Connor plays with your expectations, setting up characters for interesting reversals and having people be and do not what you might have expected from the set-ups. O’Connor also discusses existential and theological issues (often through an ironic lens) within the framework of small character narratives, just like the writers of Lost. I figure that, since they were part of my english coursework at uni, that the writers of Lost may have stumbled across the work in the same fashion, they definitely seem like english majors.

    ‘Everything that rises must converge’ was great but I also recommend ‘A good man is hard to find’ i which the description of the forest reminds me of the jungles in Lost.

    Have a nice read all

    The title short story,

  18. carpie21, thanks for the exceptional insight into the short stories!

    It makes so much more sense to me, knowing what they are about, and how her stories mirror Lost!

    I am very intrigued by what you have to say, and hope to eventually give them a read!

    It sounds like your education paid off, in a big way, if this is the type of reading material available. No doubt, Damon & Carlton had the same opportunity afforded him.

    Great stuff!

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