Mary F. O’Connor is a prominent figure in literature – considered by the American population to be a great short story writer. Her literary work is accepted across different reader groups containing awkward, but interesting characters, themes and reflections of her religious views of the world. Then again, O’Conner’s attempt at writing an interpretation to her own story – “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, fails miserably as critics such as Steve Brady attack the author’s actions deeming it unnecessary and contrary to the real message of the story. Inevitably, O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” has spiked up a major debate amongst different reader groups whereby readers differ in interpretation of the characters, and themes such as religion.
As one reads through O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, one is soon bombarded by mixed emotions as the story plunges into a depressing turn of events. Surely, it is hard to associate the fiction with religious positivity as O’Connor seems to suggest in her interpretation of the story where she promotes themes such as salvation, faith, and life after death. One aspect of interpretation of her story may be through the characters. In contrary to O’Connor’s interpretation, the story does not inspire hope for redemption of any of its characters. The message radiating from the short story is that of a pessimistic kind. For instance, O’Connor believes that the grandmother’s role portrays a symbol of grace – a position that may not be too convincing to the reader. In fact, her role has fallen under scrutiny from different critics such as Stephen Bandy in his interpretation titled” One of My Babies”.
Brady, just like many other readers, is surpris...
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It is common to hear and see stories on the news that concur with the O’Connor’s short story where families are brutally killed. One can only imagine the fear of dying and begging for one’s life. All in all, O’Connor has been able to achieve a wonderful story that captures the pain and tragedy that most people are scared of writing about. Whether or not one interprets the story in one way and not the other is up to the reader. The beauty of literature lies in the art it has to offer – just like a painting in an art gallery that is open to interpretation by the viewer, it may be understood differently based upon the viewer’s perspective, background and experiences. It is important to note that works of literature should also be left out to open interpretation, as different people relate differently to the implicit and explicit messages the text has to offer.
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