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A Late Encounter with the Enemy

In the short story “A Late Encounter with the Enemy” by Flannery O’Connor, General Sash is finally coming face to face with the only enemy left to him, the hard reality of time and his own mortality. A remnant of a time past, dying seems a reality he should have accepted long ago and should have, in itself, lost the power to intimidate. However, choosing to live in an image of the past, that glosses over some and rewrites other details of the past, death is a hard realism that cannot be escaped. Additionally and more so than death, the true enemy for the General is the larger concept of time itself that includes not only his eventual death, sitting…