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A Good Man is Hard To Find, by Flannery O'Connor Essay

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Brilliant and popular author Flannery O’Connor explained, “I write the way I do because and only because I am a Catholic. I feel that if I were not a Catholic I would have no reason to write, no reason to see, no reason to feel horrified or even to enjoy anything” (Lifto). In O’Connor’s short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, fundamental questions about good and evil, morality and immorality, and faith and doubt are all raised. With this story O’Connor openly displays what she sees as a universal truth of God’s grace and love towards every man. Painting this grace with characters: “the grandmother” and “the Misfit”, the story serves as an intricate masterpiece of the grace that God is willing to pour out to and through all of humankind.
The grandmother serves as a symbol of etiquette and structure: dressing as a lady with her neckline “pinned [with] a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet” (O’Connor) and constantly reminding her grandkids of the wonderful gift of nature and the necessary appreciation for their belongings, keeping the children from throwing their sandwich wrappers out the car window and bickering, and attempting to improve their manners. She believes herself to be a good, Christian woman. On the contrary, the grandmother is, as T. W. Hendricks observes in his literary criticism Flannery O’Connor’s “spoiled prophet”, “compromised by her delusions about her background and social status” and a partaker in sinful pride. She is pretentious and domineering towards her son, as well as, his wife and children. She seems to believe her opinions, on more than just religion, are factual. Directing her family down a road she remembers to have led to an interesting, but partially made-up, house, results in a car ...


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...at God’s love and desire for his children to join him in the kingdom of heaven are so great, that their immensity is incomprehensible, and that He is eager to go to boundless magnitudes to gain His children’s souls. Her infallibility to spread the views of her religion throughout A Good Man is Hard to Find indeed shows that these beliefs are ones O’Connor willed itching to be scratched by the fingers and begging to be explored by the minds of all her booklovers.



Works Cited

Hendricks, T. W. "Flannery O'Connors' "spoiled Prophet"." Literary Resource Center. Gale Group,
Summer 2009. Web. Oct. 2011.
Lifto, Tait. "Symbolism in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" Essay." Poetry, Princess Bride, Brian Regan,
Jokes, Pictures and Other Stuff. Nov. 2005. Web. 16 Oct. 2011.
O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." Pegasus Web Server Home Page. Web. 16 Oct. 2011.


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