Religion and Racism in A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything that Rises Must Converge

Religion and Racism in A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything that Rises Must Converge

Length: 3390 words (9.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Religion and Racism in Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything that Rises Must Converge

Flannery O’Connor, undoubtedly one of the most well-read authors of the early 20th Century, had many strong themes deeply embedded within all her writings. Two of her most prominent and poignant themes were Christianity and racism. By analyzing, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Everything that Rises Must Converge,” these two themes jump out at the reader. Growing up in the mid-1920’s in Georgia was a huge influence on O’Connor. Less than a decade before her birth, Georgia was much different than it was at her birth. Slaves labored tirelessly on their master’s plantations and were indeed a facet of everyday life. However, as the Civil War ended and Reconstruction began, slaves were not easily assimilated into Southern culture. Thus, O’Connor grew up in a highly racist area that mourned the fact that slaves were now to be treated as “equals.” In her everyday life in Georgia, O’Connor encountered countless citizens who were not shy in expressing their discontent toward the black race. This indeed was a guiding influence and inspiration in her fiction writing. The other guiding influence in her life that became a major theme in her writing was religion. Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, the only child of a Catholic family. The region was part of the 'Christ-haunted' Bible belt of the Southern States. The spiritual heritage of the region profoundly shaped O'Connor's writing as described in her essay "The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South" (1969). Many of her 32 short stories are inundated with Christ-like allusions and other references to her faith.

“A Good Man is Hard to Find,” O’Connor’s 1955 sho...


... middle of paper ...


...ing up right before her eyes.

Although Flannery O’Connor didn’t even live to see her 40th birthday, her fiction endures to this day. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Everything that Rises Must Converge,” O’Connor effectively deals with the two huge themes (topics) of religion and racism. These two themes are crucial to understanding much of O’Connor’s great works and are relevant to all readers of O’Connor throughout all ages.

Works Cited

Bandy, Stephen C. "One of my babies": The Misfit and the Grandmother in Flannery O'Connor's short story 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find'. Studies in Short Fiction; Winter 1996, v33, n1, p107(11)
O’Connor, Flannery. The Complete Stories. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. New York: 1971.
Satterfield, Ben. "Wise Blood, Artistic Anemia, and the Hemorrhaging of O'Connor Criticism." Studies in American Fiction 17 (1989): 33-50.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Julian’s Racist Mother in O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge

- Julian’s Racist Mother in O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge She lifted the hat one more time and set it down slowly on her head. Two wings of gray hair protruded on either side of her florid face, but her eyes, sky-blue, were as innocent as they must have been when she was ten. Where it not that she was a widow who had struggled fiercely to feed and clothe and put him through school and who was supporting him still, “until he got on his feet,” she might have been a little girl that he had to take to town....   [tags: Everything That Rises Must Converge]

Powerful Essays
625 words (1.8 pages)

Underlying Messages in Everything That Rises Must Converge and Good Country People

- Underlying Messages in Everything That Rises Must Converge and Good Country People         Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge" and "Good Country People" have extremely complex story lines. What makes these stories so involved is how the characters relate to others. Discovering who the characters in the stories are and what they represent becomes the reader's purpose and goal. In order to truly understand her stories the reader must look deeper than the surface. The underlying messages must be searched for as a person looking for hidden treasure....   [tags: Everything That Rises Must Converge Essays]

Powerful Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

Racism, Science and Religion Essay

- Racism as a topic has had many different changing attitudes and beliefs throughout the years. People have tried to justify discrimination through religious texts, science, politics, music and pretty much any other medium available to an individual. This in turn lends credence to the idea that the concept of racism is always evolving and it would be naive to try and cling to past ideas when discussing it. Instead, it would be much more beneficial to examine how the concept of race and racism has developed into it the current state it is in today with an acknowledgment of past ideas....   [tags: Racism Essays]

Powerful Essays
1971 words (5.6 pages)

Flannery O'Conner's Everything that Rises Must Converge Essay

- Flannery O'Conner's Everything that Rises Must Converge A diverse Point of View in literature is what produces the story. In each story the author shows you what they think is important by giving you a certain point of view. Whether it is a first person or a third person point of view, there is always a motive behind why the author chose that view. “Everything that Rises Must Converge”, by Flannery O’Conner, deals with contentious issues of racism and the questionable validity of what is racism after the civil rights movement....   [tags: Flannery O'Conner Rises Converge Essays]

Powerful Essays
772 words (2.2 pages)

Old South vs. New South in O'Conner's Everything That Rises Must Converge

- Old South vs. New South in O'Conner's Everything That Rises Must Converge Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge" depicts a stifling mother-son relationship in which the conflict is never resolved, or even acknowledged. This relationship is a metaphor which describes the transition from the Old South, with its inherent values used to justify slavery and segregation, to the New South, striving for justice based on equality. Mrs, Chestney (old South) and her son Julian (New South) represent, on an individual scale, the interactions of their corresponding constituencies, "'The world is a mess everywhere......   [tags: Everything That Rises Must Converge]

Powerful Essays
943 words (2.7 pages)

Regal Imagery in Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge

- Regal Imagery in Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge Flannery O’Connor uses images of regality as represented by hats, colors, and ironic regal references in the short story “Everything That Rises Must Converge” to symbolize Julian’s mother, and her societal views. She, like the hat, is not as upper class as she would have herself or others believe. In addition, her racist beliefs are challenged when a black woman enters the bus with the very same hat, forcing her to realize that the regal attitude she holds will never be validated, and she will no longer be able to pretend that she is superior to anyone....   [tags: Everything That Rises Must Converge]

Powerful Essays
1010 words (2.9 pages)

Religion And The Invention Of Racism Essay examples

- George M. Fredrickson in his essay, Religion and the Invention of Racism, explains the invention of racism based on religious, cultural, and ethnic grounds and its progression from Europe to Africa and to North America through centuries. Fredrickson accounts these discriminations between groups as solely being related to religion based on how people who followed Christianity considered themselves as the superior one while the rest as inferior. Associating Jews with Devil and witchcraft (90) with later discrimination based on the doctrine of “limpieza de sangre” (purity of blood) (96), and the emphasis on the biblical Curse of Ham or Canaan to explain the African pigmentation (101) was...   [tags: Judaism, Christianity, Human skin color, Religion]

Powerful Essays
1038 words (3 pages)

Essay on Flannery O'Connor's Everything That Rises Must Converge

- Flannery O'Connor's Everything That Rises Must Converge Everything That Rises Must Converge Sometimes parents could teach their kids certain principles, and they don?t realize that everyone has different beliefs and values. Julian and his mother had two different views on life and the world around them. Julian was raised to believe that Whites were better than Blacks. His mother believed that they were better off being slaves and keeping their old position in society. She also believed that she held a high position in society....   [tags: Flannery O'Connor Rises Converge Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
1493 words (4.3 pages)

Religion and Racism Essay

- Religion and Racism Racism is prejudice against people of another race or ethnic group. Prejudice means pre-judging: making up your mind about someone or something when you have not considered the facts or the evidence. Racism has been around for a very long time, one of the first times that it happened on a major scale was when the Jews moved to Egypt, but were put into slavery because the Egyptians thought of them as inferior because their skin colour and religious beliefs. People are, or can be racist due to three main points, the first is that they were brought up by parents who were racist, and they automatically adopted the views of them because that was all they...   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1571 words (4.5 pages)

CONVERGE Essay

- None Provided15 CONVERGE Converge is an exhibition on at the South Australian Art Gallery between March 2nd until March 30th. The exhibition profiles a selection of work from Australian artists. Our perceptions are challenged as we explore the nexus between art, science and technology. Combining technology and science with art. Ranging from bioethics to the environment to robotics. The exhibition is based on research and discovery. Australian artists have met the challenge merging art and science together producing work that is contemporary a journey for us all to take....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
617 words (1.8 pages)