Racism In A Good Man Is Hard To Find

909 Words4 Pages
In the short story A Good Man is Hard to Find, the author, Flannery O 'Connor, tells a darkly amusing story of an old grandmother saved by grace. Hidden behind this broad message however, she has several minor themes, all subtly humorous and easily overlooked. One such theme is the flaws in racism. Through irony, O 'Connor points out the contradiction which beholds itself in the rhetoric of racism. O 'Connor shows how often times prejudice stands on conflicting reason When getting something to eat along the road, the grandma is taking with the owner, Red Sammy, about how everything in the world is going to hell. She declares that “Europe [is] entirely to blame for the way things are now. She [says] the way Europe acted you would think we were made out of money” (O’Conner, 496). Red assures her that “It’s no use talking about it she’s exactly right” (O’Conner, 496). In 1955, the year this story was written, America was…show more content…
Through these ironic and satirical methods, O’Connor takes a stance against racism. She humorously displays the grandmother in the caricature of the racist old woman who unwittingly makes offensive and contradictory comments about racism and peoples. For many readers they will find it amusing simply because they can relate to it in their own experience with the elderly, everyone, however, can appreciate the irony behind her contradictions. These contradictions show the inherent problem with racism, that it simply has no logical sense behind it. The story format is the perfect platform to humorously display this too, because it gives the reader a bird 's eye view. By allowing the reader to step back, they see the ridiculousness of prejudicial ideas. Ideas that can be murkier when looking at them for the view of everyday life. From this vantage point, one must look in self reflection and may very likely see that like the grandma, they are also subject to these preconceived stereotypes, and hopefully see how silly they seem when looked at
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