A Short Stay in Atlanta

 “My idea about Atlanta is get in, get it over with and get out before dark.” ~ Flannery O’Connor

Letter to Dr. T.R. Spivey, March 17, 1964. O’Connor: Collected Works. Edited by Sally Fitzgerald. New York: Library of America, 1988.


At first, Flannery and her mother lived in Milledgeville in the Cline family’s mansion while her father worked on getting them housing in Atlanta. The hardest part of the move to Milledgeville for Flannery was adapting to her new school, Peabody Elementary School. Learn more about Flannery’s experiences in school on the School Days page.

Flannery finished the 7th grade at Peabody Elementary School before joining her father in Atlanta where she was enrolled in North Fulton High School. The family lived outside the city in the Peachtree Heights neighborhood of Buckhead. Just like in Savannah and Milledgeville, Flannery was surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins and other extended family. Flannery and her entire extended family attended Christ the King Cathedral.

Atlanta was hit very hard by the Great Depression. Businesses had to close and many people were unemployed. Flannery’s father worked for one of the government agencies President Franklin Roosevelt started in hopes of improving the economy. Flannery did not like Atlanta very much. Maybe she did not like Atlanta because of the economic troubles she saw there as a young woman? Maybe she did not like Atlanta because she had a hard time adjusting to her new school? Maybe she did not like Atlanta because it was the place where she saw her father get sicker and sicker? Whatever the reason, Flannery did not have to stay in Atlanta very long. Her parents saw how unhappy she was and enrolled her at Peabody High School in Milledgeville for next school year.


Georgia in the Great Depression

To really understand what life was like for Flannery O’Connor and her family, you have to understand a little about Georgia during the Great Depression. Use the links below to watch videos, view online exhibits and read articles about Georgia during the Great Depression.

Today in Georgia History Videos

Online Exhibit

Three Centuries of Georgia History: The 1930s

New Georgia Encyclopedia Article

Zainaldin, Jamil S. “Great Depression.” New Georgia Encyclopedia. 08 November 2013.


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