Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Raymond Carver's The Cathedral

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Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Carver wrote the short stories, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “The Cathedral,” which both showcase personas of conflictedness in two different time frames. Although one can draw many interpretations from these two stories, written in 1953 and 1983, respectively, one might refute many impracticalities associated with the nostalgic state of many of these characters, who possess characteristics that would be considered archaic and imbecilic. Racists and discriminatory viewpoints circumnavigate the minds of several characters, who can’t seem to come to terms with modern ideologues. The prevailing tendencies of these characters could very possibly cause some anguish to the readers, who would struggle to make sense of the ignorance displayed in these two stories. Many critics have suggested their own interpretations of the stories, and what they reveal to us about human nature. In 1953, Flannery O’Connor wrote “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” which turned viral and preemptive, due to a very controversial ending. Although Flannery lived only 39 years, she successfully made a name for herself as an American writer, publishing two novels and 32 short stories. Her southern gothic stories examined questions regarding morality and ethics, and featured flawed characters. Growing up in Georgia, she set out to highlight the sentimental nature of Christian realism, and although her stories were disturbing, she refuted the opinions of those who characterized her as cynical. In the last decade of her life, she wrote over a hundred book reviews, which were inspired by her religious Roman Catholic faith. She successively demonstrated her intellect, often confronting ethical themes from some of the most challenging theol... ... middle of paper ... ...rs, leaving the narrator and Rob to smoke a joint and watch television. The narrator tells Robert what’s going on in the show and asks him if he knows what a cathedral is, since the show is all about cathedrals. Although the narrator isn’t religious, he draws a cathedral for Robert, allowing his hand to be over his. This would allow him to understand what a cathedral looks like. However, when the wife wakes up and asks what they’re doing, she’s confused when the narrator says they’re drawing a cathedral. Robert asks the narrator to open his eyes, and he never does, claiming he feels weightless, suggesting to himself that he’s reached an epiphany. The narrator’s drawing allows him to see beyond “visibility.” He doesn’t understand exactly what he felt, but he knows it was a meaningful experience. Robert demonstrated that seeing involves a lot more than just looking.

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