07 September 2008

"A Good Man Is Hard To Find" by Flannery O'Connor (Southern Literature)

The “heart of the story” lies with the possible transformation of the grandmother. She has a false sense of religion. She believes that being well dressed and respectable is next to holiness. The Lord says to come as you are. She claims to be a Christian, but her actions and gestures are outside of Christian practices.

Furthermore, all the events that happen in the story are due the actions of the grandmother. She causes the accident by secretly bringing a cat. She causes the family to be on that particular road because of her suggestion to visit an old childhood house. She causes the family to be killed because of her verbal recognition of an escaped criminal. The grandmother is appalling in her actions, but transforms her false sense of religion and truly accepts God’s grace and mercy in the end. In the beginning, the grandmother is self-centered and dominating.

By the end of the story, she seems concerned with the fate of The Misfit. In the end, the grandmother tells The Misfit, “Why, you’re one of my babies!” In essence, they all lack true spirituality and religion. The Misfit proudly states, “enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can—by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him.” If one does not have a sense of responsibility to God, he will do things that are pleasing to the flesh. The covenant that Christians make with God allow them to suppress or attempt to suppress carnal sins.


LM said...

If you like O'Connor's work, you may be interested to know that KSU's Department of Theatre and Performance Studies will be performing Everything That Rises Must Converge April 14-19, 2009.

Denae said...

I was fascinating by her writing when I was younger and still find it surprising and unsettling. I never feel exactly comfortable with how she writes or what she says. I think that's part of why I am so fond of it. She keeps me on edge and I never feel like I can trust her to keep me safe while I'm in the story.