Flannery O’Connor’s Good Country People, written in southern gothic style is both dramatic and shocking. The complexity of a simple life is nuanced with themes of betrayal and nihilism. O’Connor’s use of symbolism is liberally evidenced throughout the story, with the character’s names seemingly a misappropriation; Mrs. Freeman, is not free, nor does Mrs. Hopewell, hope well. Indeed, it appears the entire short story is based on misnomers; with each of the characters proving that they are not good country people.
Flannery O’Connor is a renowned Southern author, noted for her gothic works and heavily Catholic themes. She focuses predominantly on racial tensions, morality, and divine grace. The religious and moral themes of her short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, converge on the character of the grandmother. Despite the self-proclamations of fulfilling what it means to be a Southern lady, Grandmother holds a superficial grasp of her religion. Throughout the story, the Grandmother never truly changed, only her ostensible actions did.
God’s Amazing Grace God loves all humankind, even the sinners. His love is so great that He sent His only begotten Son into the world to suffer and be crucified on the cross to saves us all from sin. It is through His amazing grace that sinners are forgiven of their sins and are able to live eternally in the Kingdom of God. These Christian principles are what Flannery O 'Connor uses as the main subject in many of her stories. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” “Redemption’” and “Parker’s Back,” O’Connor uses the theme of salvation to show how God’s love and forgiveness are available to people in everyday life.
Flannery O’Connor uses style, tone, and character to tell the story of a family and a band of misfits as they struggle with good over evil in the Southern Gothic short story ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ (Kirszner & Mandell, 2012). The style and tone of the characters are depicted in a way that makes it difficult to feel compassion or sympathy for them. The figurative language and style used by the author depicts characters with casual, informal, and extreme Southern stereotypes, diction and attitudes. The tone of the story is ironic in regard to both the characters and plot. O’Connor uses colorful language to describe the characters of the story in a way that allows the reader to vividly see the characters as cartoon like, grotesque, and exaggerated.
She is only trying to convince the misfit that he is a good man because she wants to be freed, and her life is in shambles. Also, the grandmother has already gone back on her word multiple of times, calling the misfit a big, bad, and scary man. Now all of the sudden he is a good man. Therefore, the grandmother still has not changed a
The grandmother uses Jesus as a scapegoat to show how she is a child of God while the Misfit tells of how he really perceives Jesus and that there is no justification of his actions. In the event of the car accident, the Grandmother was left with a physical crisis that quickly showed as her family was sent off into the woods to be killed one by one. This soon transitioned to a spiritual crisis both between the Grandmother and the Misfit as she uses Jesus's name to try and escape her fate. This spiritual crisis leads the characters to express their personal conception of reality and how they perceive the revelation of the situation that they are in. The Grandmother has a sense that reality should revolve around her and that she should manipulate tools such as religion to benefit her outcome.
Redemption is the act of being saved from acts of evil and sin. The debate of whether human nature is redeemable or not has been one to plaque religious scholars. In Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, this question continues in the interactions between the characters; the most notable being the Grandmother of a rather horrible family and the Misfit, a murderer. While on a road trip, these two characters’ paths collide and lead to a rather unfortunate end where the Grandmother and her family are killed. While many readers believe the ending creates and overall negative tone of the story, some believe that there is a hope for redemption; the story’s author O’Connor who is a devoted Catholic included.
“Her characters, who sometimes accept and other times reject salvation, often have a warped self-image, especially of their moral status and of the morality of their actions” (Hobby). This addresses how some of the important lines in the story describe to the reader about the extreme exaggeration and the psychological realism of the church, which O’Connor wanted to express within her story. The extreme use of exaggeration and how the use of the characters bring a sense of an uncanny feeling of good and evil within each character, portrays how deep the meaning is seen in this short story. “the story is filled with dark, grotesque humor created largely by the story 's many ironies” (Hobby). The author of this source highly emphasizes that O’Connor creates this dark humor for her characters to build on her meaning in the story and uses irony to create the distortion within her
She put her imperfect characters in often times disturbing conditions. Her writing delved into religion and the morality of her characters when such situations arose. O’Connor brilliantly uses dark twists and foreshadowing to give her stories an additional appeal. In “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, the story opens with the grandmother not wanting to go to Florida on account of the fact that a murderer had escaped and was on the loose(361). This exemplifies O’Connor’s proficient use of foreshadowing.
She interprets the idea as if the reader does not believe on a God. O’Connor also carefully draws out her characters. O’Connor made the Grandmother a women so that any reader felt lower than and feel below in authority. The grandmother is shown as a pushy woman with characteristics of selfishness. These characteristics show when she insisted on going to the old house.
O’Connor has a specific way of defining and showing grace. She created tales of hypocrisy, sin, and forgiveness that are violent but honest. Often depicting grace as a decision just before death, she shows the harsh reality that one must
The grandmother grew in that moment of death more than she ever did in the little parts that we read about her life, and she dies in peace. Her actions may have even changed the Misfit too. At the end, he says “she would have been a good woman if he 'd been there all her life to shoot her.” (366). This line confused me the first time reading it, but the second time around it made more sense.
In “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor creates a story where the roles of good and evil blend together. In the short story, a family in the rural South gets caught up with a criminal named the Misfit after their wreck and they end up getting murdered. The clash between the grandmother and the Misfit highlights the religious aspects of the story and also O’Connor’s beliefs. Her stylistic traits of violence, distortion, and religion are used to convey a corrupt world that needs salvation. O’Connor’s trait of violence is used throughout to reveal the corrupt and criminal world that emanates the need for salvation.
In the 1953 short story titled “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor, readers are given a glimpse of what the end of the story may look like through use of foreshadowing, symbolism, and other literary techniques. Although the story looks to be an innocent story of a family who travels to Florida for vacation at the start of it, readers soon find out that the story has a darker twist to it. This family trip turns violent and this gruesome ending can easily represent the violence taking place in America during the time this story was written by O’Connor and even today. The short story starts off with a family of six- parents, a grandmother, and three children-
Because the Grandmother's intentions still remain unclear of what she really wanted and meant. As well of her point of views of her religion and approach towards it. (The Moment of Grace).The religion of the grandmother is not very clear. She tends to be unpredictable, she doesn’t explains what she reallys means by certain things she says or the way she expresses herself. The grandmother is the center of the family, for she is the grace.