A story without style is like a man without personality: useless and boring. However, Flannery O’Connor incorporates various different styles in her narratives. Dark humor, irony, and symbolism are perhaps the utmost powerful and common styles in her writing. From “Revelation” and “Good Country People” to “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” all of O’Connor’s stories consist of different styles in writing. Dark humor plays an important role in O’Connor’s novels. Instead of simply stating the character’s cruelty in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” O’Connor chooses to reveal it through the use of dark humor. As the Misfit shoots the grandmother he thinks that she could be a decent person, “if it had been somebody to shoot her every minute of her life” …show more content…
In “Good Country People,” O’Connor effectively symbolizes Christian hypocrisy in her narrative. The same man who is selling bibles is the one who carries “a pocket flask of whisky and a pack of cards” (“Good Country People,” 289), in his hollowed-out bible. A bible salesman using a hollowed-out bible as storage for whisky represents those who use religion to cover up for their sins and achieve society’s approval. Additionally, in Revelation, a person’s name symbolizes the sole theme of the narrative. While Mrs. Turnip is busy denouncing other people’s appearances in the waiting room, a girl named Mary Grace exposes Mrs. Turnip for who she really is, and tells her to “go back to hell, where [she comes] from, [and calls Mrs. Turnip an] old wart hog” (“Revelation”, 21). Although Mrs. Turnip believes she is a noble person, Mary Grace symbolizes the need for grace in Mrs. Turnip’s life for her to become aware of the ugliness that lies beneath her beautiful face, and clean skin. Furthermore, symbolism is a significant element in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” The Misfit arrives in “a big black bettered hearse-like automobile” (“AMIHTF,” 6). The car designed to carry coffins, indicates and symbolizes the family’s death, and all the others that the Misfit
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As I read Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, I find myself being completely consumed by the rich tale that the author weaves; a tragic and ironic tale that concisely and precisely utilizes irony and foreshadowing with expert skill. As the story progresses, it is readily apparent that the story will end in a tragic and predictable state due to the devices which O’Connor expertly employs and thusly, I find that I cannot stop reading it; the plot grows thicker with every sentence and by doing so, the characters within the story are infinitely real in my mind’s eye. As I consider these factors, the story focuses on two main characters; that of the grandmother, who comes across as self-centered and self-serving and The Misfit, a man, who quite ingeniously, also appears to be self-centered and self-serving. It is the story behind the grandmother, however, that evidence appears to demonstrate the extreme differences between her superficial self and the true character of her persona; as the story unfolds, and proof of my thought process becomes apparently clear.
In "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor, the author successfully uses the literary technique of "foreshadowing" to enhance and to support her story. The story is presented mostly from the point of view of the grandmother. Near the end, the grandmother is killed following the death of her entire family. In the course of this story, she put a good uses of imagery to foreshadow the people and the events. These are times are when describing how the grandmother dress, the family’s death, and the conversation between the Misfit and the grandmother.
O’Connor powerfully made the reader realize that having an epiphany opens up our mind to a clearer insight, and this was seen with the grandmother in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and Mrs. Turpin in “Revelation.” Nonetheless, O’Connor also created characters that obtained a certain type of violence deep within their personality to show the importance of real life experiences within our society. These two short stories show a great amount of emotion and life lessons towards the reader, and O’Connor successfully conveyed her point while using her powerful Southern gothic writing technique.
...articular particularly symbolic aspect of A Good Man is Hard to Find is the fact that O'Connor is a great deal more elusive in her interpretation than in her other works. The author relies considerably more upon intangible ideals and concepts in which to make her point, which is readily obvious by the style and tone she adopts for the story. "She had her own distinctive, totally unsparing voice, and this novella about a tough old lady and a tougher escaped convict is as black as it gets" (Anonymous 182). In one way, she is trying to encourage both her readers and her characters to take control of their lives, to become empowered by the very events that serve to break down the people in her tale. Yet in another way, she recognizes the fact that people will always be the way they are, and nothing that anyone can say or do will ultimately save them from themselves.
“A Good Man Is Hard To Find” and “Good Country People” are two short stories written by Flannery O’Connor during her short lived writing career. Despite the literary achievements of O’Connor’s works, she is often criticized for the grotesqueness of her characters and endings of her short stories and novels. Her writings have been described as “understated, orderly, unexperimental fiction, with a Southern backdrop and a Roman Catholic vision, in defiance, it would seem, of those restless innovators who preceded her and who came into prominence after her death”(Friedman 4). “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” and “Good Country People” are both set in the South, and O’Connor explores the tension between the old and new South. The stories are tow ironically twisted tales of different families whos lives are altered after trusting a stranger, only to be mislead. Each story explores the themes of Christian theology, new verses the old South, and fallen human nature.
Religion is a pervasive theme in most of the literary works of the late Georgia writer Flannery O'Connor. Four of her short stories in particular deal with the relationship between Christianity and society in the Southern Bible Belt: "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," "The River," "Good Country People," and "Revelation." Louis D. Rubin, Jr. believes that the mixture of "the primitive fundamentalism of her region, [and] the Roman Catholicism of her faith . . ." makes her religious fiction both well-refined and entertaining (70-71). O'Connor's stories give a grotesque and often stark vision of the clash between traditional Southern Christian values and the ever-changing social scene of the twentieth century. Three of the main religious ingredients that lend to this effect are the presence of divine meanings, revelations of God, and the struggle between the powers of Satan and God.
Religion and Racism in Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything that Rises Must Converge
A common aspect of Flannery O’Connor’s literary works is her use of heavily flawed characters. O’Connor’s characters often exhibit gothic and incongruous characteristics. O’Connor’s short story, “Good Country People,” is no exception to her traditional writing style with characters such as Hulga Hopewell, Mrs. Hopewell, Mrs. Freeman, and Manley Pointer. O’Connor uses gothic characterization and symbolism to produce a great short story about a few ruthless country people.
The irony at the end of this story is very interesting. O’ Connor forces the reader to wonder which characters are “Good Men”, perhaps by the end of the story she is trying to convey two points: first, that a discerning “Good Man” can be very difficult, second that a manipulative, self centered, and hollow character: The Grandmother is a devastating way to be, both for a person individually and for everyone else around them. The reader is at least left wondering if some or all of the clues to irony I provided apply in some way to the outcome of this story.
In Flannery O’Connor’s stories, “Good Country People”, “Everything that Rises Must Converge”, ”A Good Man is Hard to Find”, and “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”, there are many similar characters and situations. Few, if any of the characters are likeable, and most of them are grotesque. Two of the stories have characters that view themselves as superior in one way or another to those around them, and in some cases these characters experience a downfall, illustrating the old proverb, “Pride goeth before a fall” (King James Bible ,Proverbs 16:18). Two of the stories include a character that has some type of disability, three of the stories showcase a very turbulent relationship between a parent and child, and three of the stories contain a character that could easily be described as evil.
An ardent Catholic as she was, Flannery O’Connor astonishes and puzzles the readers of her most frequently compiled work, A Good Man Is Hard to Find. It is the violence, carnage, injustice and dark nooks of Christian beliefs of the characters that they consider so interesting yet shocking at the same time. The story abounds in Christian motifs, both easy and complicated to decipher. We do not find it conclusive that the world is governed by inevitable predestination or evil incorporated, though. A deeper meaning needs to be discovered in the text. The most astonishing passages in the story are those when the Grandmother is left face to face with the Misfit and they both discuss serious religious matters. But at the same time it is the most significant passage, for, despite its complexity, is a fine and concise message that O’Connor wishes to put forward. However odd it may seem, the story about the fatal trip (which possibly only the cat survives) offers interesting comments on the nature of the world, the shallowness of Christian beliefs and an endeavour to answer the question of how to deserve salvation.
“A Good man is hard to find,” is about a family who decide to go on a trip to Florida. The story revolves around a self absorbed grandmother who loves to talk about how everything used to be back in her day and takes the time to dress herself so that “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady (358).” She sneaks the family cat with her despite her son’s disapproval of bringing the creature along violating her boundaries to how a lady would act. The family encounters an accident along the way and happens to come across ‘The Misfit,’ a runaway criminal. Using ‘The Misfit’ as a tool, O’ Connor sends a message to her readers of how hypocritical a person can be when it comes to belief.
The main recurring theme in Flannery O’Connor’s stories is the use of violence towards characters in order to give them an eye-opening moment in which they finally realize their true self in relation to the rest of society and openly accept insight into how they should act or think. This theme of violence can clearly be seen in three works by Flannery O’Connor: A Good Man is Hard to Find, Good Country People, and Everything That Rises Must Converge.
In Flannery O 'Connor 's short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, the theme of good vs. evil unravels throughout the series of tragic events. The Grandmother’s epiphany introduces the idea of morality and the validity is left to the interpretation of the reader. By questioning the characteristics of right and wrong, morality and religion become subjective to personal reality and the idea of what makes individuals character good or bad becomes less defined.
Flannery O’Connor is best known for her Southern Gothic writing style and grotesque characters. Dorothy Tuck McFarland states that “O’Connor created bizarre characters or extreme situations in order to attain deeper kinds of realism” (1). This writing style is seen in Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Flannery O’Connor uses many techniques to gain the reader’s attention and keep them captivated. One way that O’Connor does this is by revolving her stories around symbols and integrating religious elements into her works. O’Connor is widely recognized for incorporating her Catholic faith into her stories. “She was a devout Roman Catholic, with a Southern upbringing” (Whitt 1). There are many types of ways to interpret “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. One method is by using formalist criticism. Formalist criticism exists when a reader can approach, analyze, and understand a story by using elements like the setting and symbolism.