A Good Man Is Hard To Find”

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One of the most memorable lines from “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” comes from the Misfit when he says, “She would have been a good woman if it had been someone there to shoot her for every minute of her life (O’Connor 309).” Flannery O’Connor’s depiction of Christian faith can be seen in almost all of her works. Inevitably, the plots in all of O’Connor’s stories end with a shocking conclusion, and this leaves the reader with freedom to interpret the central idea. From the endless list of themes that O’Connor embeds into her stories, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” is largely influenced by divine grace, hypocrisy, bitter reality, and white supremacy. The feeling of white supremacy can be repeatedly seen in O’Connor’s writing, including “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.” Although it is a little difficult to decide if the Grandmother is racist because of her disguised formal style of speech, there are moments in the story raise questions about her moral attitude towards blacks. For example, when she narrates the watermelon story, she degrades the reputation of black people by saying “because a nigger boy ate it” and doesn’t consider anyone else to be responsible for such an act (O’Connor 301). In the comment is she stereotyping black people as the scapegoats for all matters, like they did in the slavery period? Or is it to “highlight the white Southerner’s popular belief that the black Southerner loves watermelon?” as Whitt believes in his book, Understanding Flannery O’Connor. Her racist remark certainly shines a light on how biased all of her comments are because secretly the watermelon story is a real account of her life. She calls the woman in the story a “maiden” and uses words like “courted” to show the elegant lifestyle of whites, s... ... middle of paper ... ... chapter,“Mrs. Shortley and the Grandmother,” in this book by Marshal Gentry compares and contrasts two different stories that are thematically the same. Gentry finds the theme of religious awakening in both of O’Connor’s works, “The Displaced Person” and “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.” The main difference between the two is how each character in the stories acquires the concept of redemption. Unlike Mrs. Shortley, who attains it primarily through her own psyche, redemption is forced upon the Grandmother. Although this chapter is a comparison, both characters share the feeling of self-righteousness, which is exactly what I need for my argument. Also, because this chapter refers to another work of O’Connor, I plan to use this source as an extra pillar for my thesis statement or possibly for my view on how the Grandmother is accountable for all the mishaps in the story.

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