English M01B 11:30
25 November 2014
Grace for a Grandmother
In Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “A Good Man is Hard To Find,” Christianity is a major theme, which drives the story along. Flannery O’Connor, herself, explains, “I write the way I do because I am a Catholic” (O’Connor 453). It is pertinent to keep this in mind while analyzing and interpreting her pieces of fiction. Some of O’Connor’s major themes which are noticeable in a vast majority of her stories are the gruesome battles for redemption that humanity as a whole faces, that humans are trapped in selfish, petty worlds, and that everyone has an opportunity to find grace. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” one character in specific, the grandmother, conveys these three themes idealistically as the plot of the story unveils. Reading this short story in light of O’Connor’s Christian focus and searching for messages, symbolism, and themes is important to uncover the purpose of characters and setting. In this story, the self-centered grandmother 's journey from manipulative egotistical woman to a place of penitence symbolizes a Christian 's journey toward salvation.
Flannery O’Connor was thought to be one of the most dominant female writers of the twentieth century due to her dynamic characters, violent plots, and influential religious themes. O’Connor was born an only child in Savannah, Georgia in 1925. She regularly attended church with her family and was enrolled at a Catholic parochial school until her father became sick from a disease known as lupus. He soon died when O’Connor was still young which many believe to contribute to her gruesome writing. She struggled with her faith for some time as a result but came to the conclusion that salvation...
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... biblical location and there is no coincidence her short story also takes place in Georgia. This symbolizes that even in the most Christian concentrated area, people still are filled with sin and disgrace. The most important location of the story is the red ditch the family finds themselves in after the crash. The cloudless blue sky lingers overheard as dusk approaches. This area symbolizes a place of salvation and is where the Grandma finds herself after she finally finds grace and dies. Another important location is the ominous woods that serve as a backdrop for the story and portray the family’s horrible destiny. The mouth of the woods is obscure and dangerous similar to the Grandmother’s incessantly open mouth. The Grandma turns things around for herself by using her mouth one again, but her family is brought into the mouth of the woods where they never return.
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