O’Connor’s Use of Dynamic Grace Essay

O’Connor’s Use of Dynamic Grace Essay

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Throughout many of O’Connor’s short stories, a theme of religion and morality can be easily found. O’Connor’s stories explore a notion of struggles between her story’s main characters and their sacrilegious faults; these characters are typically depicted with the fatal-flaw of a superiority complex. This is of course, ironic due to the fact that many of these characters believe themselves to be pious Christians and though this entails that they should not retain a judgmental nature, they do so anyways believing themselves to be superior. Many times, O’Connor will introduce a dynamic character, seemingly out of nowhere, in order to test the moral-fiber of the story’s protagonist, and hopefully enlighten the protagonist with the grace of God—protagonists like the grandma in “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Mrs. Turpin in “Revelation,” and Mrs. Cope in “A Circle in the Fire.” While the dramatic characters found within O’Connor’s stories, such as “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, “Revelation”, and “A Circle in the Fire,” are all depicted through unique situations and context, all are used as a direct means by which the main character is made aware of one’s conceited persona and becomes a recipient of grace.
In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the protagonist, the grandmother, is depicted as a selfish, irksome woman who constantly passes judgment on others. She manipulates her family into doing whatever bids her best, all the while claiming to be a religious woman. In order to test her character, O’Connor introduces the dynamic character “The Misfit” to the story. While the Misfit is a murderer and is in no way a “good man,” he is able to reveal a self-awareness that the grandmother is without. Immediately before the Misfit kills the grandmothe...


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.... Being of Christian faith herself, it is understandable that O’Connor would want to explore this notion of corruption found within those claiming to be of faith. These protagonist’s fatal flaws are meant to represent a very real struggle found within people of faith, what it would be like if these flaws were confronted. It is only by means of a dynamic character that one might be enlightened and receive the humble grace of God.



Works Cited


O'Connor, Flannery. “A Circle in the Fire." Flannery O'Connor The Complete Stories. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971. 175-193. Print.
O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." Flannery O'Connor The Complete Stories. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971. 117-133. Print.
O'Connor, Flannery. "Revelation." Flannery O'Connor The Complete Stories. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971. 488-509. Print.

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