Flannery O’Connor’s Short Story A Good Man is Hard to Find Essay

Flannery O’Connor’s Short Story A Good Man is Hard to Find Essay

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Flannery O’Connor’s Short Story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”


Flannery O’Connor’s personal views on the justification of religion and the resulting world or corruption and depravity are apparent in her short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. She analyzes the basic plight of human existence and its conflict with religious conviction. The first two-thirds of the narrative set the stage for the grandmother, representing traditional Christian beliefs, to collide with The Misfit, representing modern scientific beliefs. The core of symbolism and the magnet for interpretation is at the end, the conversation between the grandmother and The Misfit. The conversation represents the examination of the clash between animal and metaphysical human nature and the Misfit is the literary depiction of the outcome of that clash.

The grandmother is based on conventional Southern women. She dresses in her Sunday best so that noone would be mistaken as to her status as a lady, an issue at the heart of every true Southern woman. She related stories of old mansions and of the little ‘pickaninny’ by a door. This was not a racial comment because for it to be there would have to be an intent to insult an African American and there was not. This was written to further convey the notion of her embodying all the true characteristics of Southern women, including their adherence to devout Christianity.

The Misfit exemplifies the cold, contemporary world. In the conversation The Misfit’s declar...

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