"You've got good blood! I know you wouldn't shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady.... "Lady,"...There were two more pistol reports and the grandmother raised her head like a parched old turkey hen crying for water and called, "Bailey Boy, Bailey Boy!" As if her heart would break. "Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead," the Misfit continued, "and He shouldn't have done it. He shown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it's nothing for you to do but thow away everything and follow Him, and if He didn't, then it's nothing for you to do but 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. No pleasure but meanness," he said and…… [Read More]
..if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."  in O'Connor's case, that somebody was lupus.
1] O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Archived at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRR/goodman.html
2] Knickerbopcker, Eric. "Flannery O'Connor: Heaven Suffereth Violence" Available at http://www.mrrena.com/flannery.shtml
3] O'Connor, Flannery. "Everything that Rises Must Converge." Archived at http://www.geocities.com/cyber_explorer99/oconnorconverge.html
4] O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Archived at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRR/goodman.html
5] Galloway, Patrick. "The Dark Side of the Cross: Flannery O'Connor's Short Fiction" Available at http://www.cyberpat.com/essays/flan.html
6] O'Connor, Flannery. "Everything that Rises Must Converge." Archived at http://www.geocities.com/cyber_explorer99/oconnorconverge.html
7] Kirjasto. "Flannery O'Connor." Available at http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/flannery.htm
8] O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Archived at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRR/goodman.html
Galloway, Patrick. "The Dark Side of the Cross: Flannery O'Connor's Short Fiction" Available at http://www.cyberpat.com/essays/flan.html
Kirjasto. "Flannery O'Connor." Available at http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/flannery.htm
Knickerbopcker, Eric. "Flannery O'Connor: Heaven Suffereth Violence" Available at…… [Read More]
Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, in the Deep South-East of the United States in 1925. Her adolescence was marked by the death of her father, from whom she later inherited the disease, deadly enemy with whom she fought, without surrender, for a lifetime. (Ann, pp74-78) However, her childhood was marked by more or less serene moments; she was taken to be, at the age of 6 years, a minor celebrity. (Bandy, p107-17)
The story tells of the young Flannery O'Connor taught a chicken to walk backwards like! Her passion for birds does not vanish, so that, now an adult, she moved to Andalucia to raise peacocks, ducks and chickens, described and used as a model in some of her writings, as "The King of Birds." After graduating from the Peabody Laboratory School, and graduated in sociology, stayed for some time in Connecticut with Robert Fitzgerald and her wife, but…… [Read More]
riting is an ancient art, used from long ago to convey various aspects, including entertainment, education, recording of history, critiquing and rebuking, writing revelations and many other purposes. There are various forms of writing, in which authors engage to put forth their feelings and intention. Additionally, history has many prolific and congruent writers who made names for themselves through writing instinctively about various themes and issues. Among the writers who have revolutionized the art of writing is Flannery O'Connor, a dynamic woman who wrote her work from distinctive features and issues within the society (Gordon 31). Many lovers of her work indicate that she loved writing, and wrote from her heart, communicating clearly to her audience. Through her visible achievements, this is evidence of her success achieved through the art of writing.
March 25, 1925 marked the beginning of the life of Mary Flannery O'Connor. She…… [Read More]
He then utters the story's baffling last line, "It's no real pleasure in life" (O'Connor 1955b, 456). Thus, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" can be read as something of the inverse, or parallel, parable to "Good Country People": In the former, nihilism, or the absence of belief, wins out over faith, despite the Misfit's ugly admonition that his anti-programmatic perception of the world is ultimately not firm enough for anyone to rest on. hile in "Good Country People," that nihilism is shattered - not by faith, but again, by false faith, which, O'Connor implies, Joy really should have been intelligent enough to detect; had her intellect been tempered with belief of some sort, perhaps she would have.
At the heart of "Everything That Must Rises Must Converge" is a conflict in perception between the two main characters, a mother and son. The son, a highly educated, intelligent young…… [Read More]
Flannery O'Connor's literature has been described as grotesque, Catholic, Southern, and even gothic. Her work has also been recognized for its harsh humor and criticism of the south. Much of her literature reflects the hostilities she experienced against racist southern attitudes, social structures, and southern ways of life. She was awarded three O. Henry awards for short fiction during her life as well as numerous grants and fellowships. After her death, she received a National Book Award and a National Book Critic Circle award. (Georgia riters Hall of Fame)
O'Connor employed a descriptive style, which was always effective in evoking the feel of the spoken southern language. Her subject matter typically deals with a "conflict or a breakdown in communication between a member representing traditional southern ideas (that is strong and proud family attachments, identification with Southern history, nostalgia for the old plantation regime) and a member typifying the 'New…… [Read More]
Dark thunderclouds now literally crowd around him, the worst "crouched behind the car" ("The Life You Save May be Your Own"). Mr. Shiftlet, his almost-empty shirtsleeve flapping outside the driver's window, begins driving into a storm: a stray lone wolf outside Noah's Ark. As the storm is about to "Break forth and wash the slime from this earth" (O'Connor) Mr. Shiftlet seems, especially now, a demon of deceit. But there is also more to him. O'Connor states early in the story, that against "an expanse of sky... his figure formed a crooked cross" [emphasis added]. A "crooked cross" is still a cross, if imperfect. Mr. Shiftlet says later:
lemme tell you something. There's one of these doctors in Atlanta that's taken knife and cut the human heart -- the human heart,... out of a man's chest and held it in his hand," "and studied it like it was a day-old…… [Read More]
Flannery O'Connor's footprint: hen do her characters gain reliability and how the attitude of the society plays a role?
O'Connor is considered one of the foremost short story writers in American literature. She was an anomaly among post-orld ar II authors -- a Roman Catholic from the Bible-belt south whose stated purpose was to reveal the mystery of God's grace in everyday life. The predominant feature of O'Connor criticism is its abundance. From her first collection, O'Connor garnered serious and widespread critical attention, and since her death the outpouring has been remarkable, including hundreds of essays and numerous full-length studies. She was recognized for writing "A Good Man Is Hard to find," which was written in the 1950s and very much a horror story about death and the very scary moment when each individual has to face it and how they will handle it. In the short story "Everything That…… [Read More]
Born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925, Flannery O'Conner was the only child of a Catholic family. The region was part of the 'Christ-haunted' Bible belt of the Southern States. The spiritual traditions of the area greatly influenced O'Connor's writing. O'Connor's father, Edward F. O'Connor, was a realtor who worked later for a construction company and died in 1941. Her mother, Regina, came from a prominent family in the state; her father had been mayor of Milledgeville for many years. At the age of twelve O'Conner moved to Milledgeville and attended Peabody High School. After graduation she enrolled in Georgia State College for omen where she edited the college magazine. She graduated in 1945 and continued her studies at the University of Iowa, attending writer's workshops conducted by Paul Engel, where she received a Master's of Fine Arts in Literature.
O'Conner's short stories A Good Man is Hard to…… [Read More]
Grace and Sin in Flannery O'Connor
Virtually all of Flannery O'Connor's short stories contain the receiving of grace by an unworthy protagonist at the tale's climatic moment. The hero of "Parker's Back" gets a Catholic, Byzantine tattoo of Christ on his back to please (unsuccessfully) his fundamentalist Protestant wife. The grandmother of "A Good Man is Hard to find" sees the face of the divine in the escaped convict known only as the 'misfit.' Even in the hearts of the most sinful of O'Connor's characters, it is possible for human beings, the author suggests, to receive grace. Grace comes unexpectedly to these characters, as it does to all human beings in O'Connor's theological understanding of the world, but it does come, blessedly and however briefly, and the human heart is changed for the better as a result.
According to the Flannery O'Connor scholar Karen Bernardo, "all of O'Connor's stories deal…… [Read More]
Revelation" by Flannery O'Connor
"God's Grace via Violence" is a Major, Controversial Theme in Flannery O'Connor's ork
Born in Savannah, Georgia on March 25, 1925 and deceased from Lupus at the age of 39, (Gordon), Flannery O'Connor led a brief but meaningful literal and literary life. Praised for attaining "an excellence not only of action but of interior disposition and activity' that struggled to reflect the goodness and love of God" (Gordon), O'Connor and her writings are earnestly studied to this day (Loyola University Chicago). Chief among the reasons for O'Connor's enduring popularity is her consistent use of symbolism and devices to explore humanity, God's grace and our relationship with God (Hub Pages: Eric Denby). "Revelation" and "A Good Man is Hard to Find" are notable examples of O'Connor's sometimes-controversial "God's grace via violence" theme, which has been denounced by some but staunchly defended by O'Connor.
O'Connor's Recurring Use of…… [Read More]
This is because the revolutionary leaders are no better than the current government, where they are engaging various activities of corruption that is delegitimizing the revolution. To illustrate this, Porter uses the character of raggioni; he is a revolutionary leader that is supposed to represent the promise of the new leaders (strong, young and idealistic). Yet, raggioni is: fat, out shape and unkempt.
Clearly he is incapable of redemption, evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than comments that raggioni makes about people who supported him during the revolution. A good example of this can be found in the passage where it says "Now, years later, he is revolutionary and leader of men who whisper secrets in his ear. He encourages them, gives them money, promises them jobs, and tells them they must join unions, take part in demonstrations, and attend meetings. However, he tells Laura, "They…… [Read More]
In Flannery O'Connor's short story "Revelation," the characters of Mrs. Turpin and Mary Grace. Though Mrs. Turpin is ostensibly the main character of the story, Mary Grace plays such a crucial, oppositional role to Mrs. Turpin that one may compare and contrast the two characters. In particular, examining the crucial differences and continuities between Mrs. Turpin and Mary Grace helps to demonstrate how Mary serves as a kind of representation of Mrs. Turpin prior to whatever life experiences helped to form her bigoted and shallow worldview, and thus free from the assumptions and ideological blinders Mrs. Turpin seemingly cannot escape from.
The central feature linking Mrs. Turpin and Mary Grace are their size and appearance. Mrs. Turpin, "who was very large," uses her size as a means of controlling others, but she is apparently unaware of the way in which Mary Grace uses her appearance to control and influence…… [Read More]
Flannery O'Connor and the Experience of Grace
Perhaps more than any other modern American writer, Flannery O'Connor stood apart from the America modernist tradition. She has very little sense of alienation from past ideological solutions -- in fact, she embraces her Catholicism. Unlike most of her male contemporaries of her literary stature, she primarily expressed herself through the vehicle of short fiction, rather than novels. Unlike most Southern writers of her period, she was a Catholic rather than a Protestant. Unlike Americans of the 1950's such as the 'Beats' she stayed close to home and to her Southern roots and family, partly as a result of the autoimmune disease she was afflicted by for most of her short adult life. The solution O'Connor offered to the modern crisis of a loss of faith is that of a kind of religious grace or compassion that she bestowed upon some…… [Read More]
Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" presents a grim and pessimistic view of human nature. None of the characters in the short story are likeable, and when the Misfit kills the grandmother, the reader feels little sympathy with her. Flannery O'Connor paints a portrait of modern American society as being bereft of "good" people, and as being inherently flawed.
Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is a disturbing but compelling story. It is also complex, with no absolute interpretation of what the author is trying to say. Ultimately the author points to one central theme: that it is difficult or impossible to be truly good. In the story, the grandmother is the protagonist. She, as well as Red Sam, believe that good people used to exist but do not anymore. "People are certainly not nice like they used to…… [Read More]
Good Man Is Hard to Find
The story based on fiction "Good Man is hard to Find" provides insight of the human feelings and desires. The coming events in lives of human beings play an important role. The impacts of various events have a profound effect on human lives even after being raised in humble environments. The characters of the fiction are normal human beings living around us and encountered by us in our daily lives. The old lady "Grandmother" is also one of the traditional women believing in kindness and goodness of human beings. She also propagates her beliefs of human behavior even in the severe conditions of life. The old lady had strong feelings about her death and events coming in her life. The traditional men and women had a humble attitude towards humanity and valued the cultural and religious philosophies. The belief in God, prayers, and forgiveness…… [Read More]
The entrance of this Christ-figure in her life will certainly lead to a revelation of sorts, shocking her perhaps even out of her disbelief.
It is always clear that there are lessons in Flannery O'Connor's short stories. It is not always clear what those lessons are intended to be. Both "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "Good Country People" demonstrate a belief that God works in surprising and frightening ways, and that people don't really understand each other. The complexity and richness of the debates that stems form these assertions are some of the reasons behind O'Connor's continued popularity and the ongoing scholarship concerned with her body of fiction.
Allen, Charlotte. "Grace and the Grotesque." The ilson Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 1 (inter, 2005), pp. 114-116.
Curley, Edwin. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol. 65,…… [Read More]
Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” details a road trip gone wrong, as a southern family steers themselves right into the hands of a serial killer. The protagonist is a grandmother with skewed social values and norms, as well as the beginnings of cognitive impairment or dementia. When she mistakenly tells her son to head to the wrong state to find a house from her distant memories, the grandmother sets in motion a chain of events that leads to the death of her whole family. Using violent imagery, Flannery O’Connor provides an inherently pessimistic tale with a nihilistic theme.
The title of the story refers to a line delivered by a minor character, Red Sammy, the restaurant owner. Red Sammy and the grandmother are from the same generation, which waxes nostalgic about what they believe to have been better times after discussing the serial killer…… [Read More]
Race in the Short Stories of Flannery O'Connor
hile O'Connor stated that "The Artificial Nigger" communicated everything she had to say about race, it was not the last story of hers that took race as at least an indirect subject. "Everything That Rises Must Converge" was another that used race as a launching point from which O'Connor could deliver a more, as she felt, pertinent message. For O'Connor, race and racism were facts of life, which meant that they were tools for the fiction writer -- aspects of society and reality -- that she could use to deliver to her reader "the indication of Grace, the moment when you know that Grace has been offered and accepted," as she wrote to another writer in 1959 (O'Connor Habit of Being 367). These moments were always the endpoints of O'Connor's fiction, "prepared for" by the clash of wills and the setting up…… [Read More]
devout Catholic peering critically at Southern evangelical Protestant culture, Flannery O'Connor never separates faith and place from her writings. Her upbringing and her life story become inextricably intertwined with her fiction, especially in her short stories. O'Connor was born Mary Flannery O'Connor on March 25, 1925, the only daughter of Regina Cline and Edwin Francis. Having grown up in Savannah and living most of her life in Georgia, Flannery possessed a uniquely disturbing yet reverential perspective on Southern life and culture. Moreover, her Catholic belief and upbringing lent the overtly Biblical symbolism to her stories, many of which twist the sacred into the profane and vice-versa. Flannery, who dropped her first name when she attended the University of Iowa, wrote throughout her entire life, in spite having a debilitating disease called disseminated lupus, which caused her early death in 1964. However, even in her weakest physical conditions, O'Connor discovered the…… [Read More]
Flannery O'Connor "Parker's Back" in the form of a Literary Analysis Question" (better known as a "Research Question")
An epiphany involves a person having an intense experience that makes him or her see things and life differently. This concept is generally associated with religious occurrences, as people often report turning their lives around as a consequence of going through an episode that changes their understanding of the world and that makes them want to get actively involved in putting across religious attitudes. Although it would be difficult to relate to an epiphany solely by discussing about religious concepts, many individuals agree that an epiphany has to contain a sort of a supernatural aspect.
There are several situations that can be linked to the definition of an epiphany in Flannery O'Connor's "Parker's Back." The moment when he sees a man covered in tattoos is the first experience that he undergoes and…… [Read More]
But the friction between her and her mother translated also to the society, to the 'good country people.' The good country people, represented by Manley Pointer, turned against her, victimizing her by using her own ideals and beliefs. Manley took advantage of her 'weakness,' being able to see through her tough self, knowing that within her, there is a part of her that wanted attention and love without pity. O'Connor may have portrayed Manley to be truly taken by Joy/Hulga's sulkiness and believed her to be like him, the kind of 'good country person' who knew and experienced the harshness of life. This can be verified in his remark after he 'revealed' himself to Joy/Hulga, exclaiming to her, "[w]hat's the matter with you all of a sudden? You just a while ago said you didn't believe in nothing. I thought you was some girl!" (par. 139).
Though Emily and Joy/Hulga…… [Read More]
Flannery O'Connor's "Greenleaf," the unpleasant Mrs. May awakens to find a bull chewing on her shrubbery. She considers getting dressed and driving to her handyman Mr. Greenleaf's house in the middle of the night to tell him to tie up the bull, but rejects this idea because she believes Mr. Greenleaf would use the experience as a chance to belittle her sons and glorify his own. Mrs. May detests the entire Greenleaf family, from Mr. Greenleaf who has no common sense, to Mrs. Greenleaf, who spends her days on "prayer healing," to the Greenleaf boys who have married and started a farm of their own while her sons remain unwed and living at home. As she investigates throughout the day, she learns that the escaped bull belongs to the Greenleaf boys. She maliciously tells Mr. Greenleaf he is to shoot his sons' bull. Mr. Greenleaf reluctantly appears to comply, but…… [Read More]
O rother, Where Art Thou?
Homer in Hollywood: The Coen rothers' O rother, Where Art Thou?
Could a Hollywood filmmaker adapt Homer's Odyssey for the screen in the same way that James Joyce did for the Modernist novel? The idea of a high-art film adaptation of the Odyssey is actually at the center of the plot of Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 film Contempt, and the Alberto Moravia novel on which Godard's film is based. In Contempt, Prokosch, a rich American dilettante film producer played by Jack Palance, hires Fritz Lang to film a version of Homer's Odyssey, then hires a screenwriter to write it and promptly ruins his marriage to rigitte ardot. Fritz Lang gamely plays himself -- joining the ranks of fellow "arty" German-born directors who had earlier deigned to act before the camera (like Erich von Stroheim in Wilder's Sunset oulevard, playing a former director not unlike himself, or…… [Read More]
Feminist critics have taken a more positive view of Hulga and a more deflationary view of O'Connor's central meaning. "Nothing in O'Connor quite so flagrantly bears out the feminist theologian Mary Daly's assertion that '[t]he myths and symbols of Christianity are essentially sexist' - which is to say "rapist."(1)…it is the author's strategy in… 'Good Country People' to knock these proud female characters down a notch" (Havird 1). David Havird calls the loss of Hulga's leg and, symbolically her intellect, a kind of rape. Given the way that O'Connor frames the tale, O'Connor views it as a kind of deserved 'rape.' Manley Pointer's name supports this reading -- his manliness and taking away of Hulga's symbolic phallus or male 'member' (her leg) suggests that O'Connor views Hulga as insufficiently humble as a woman should be before God. Hulga's disdain of affection, her coldness to being kissed, and her disgust at…… [Read More]
"Everything That Rises Must Converge": An Analysis of hat the Critics Say
Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge" is a short story filled with symbols of emptiness and darkness. Paul Elie observes that "the symbolism is 'the coin of the realm, which has the face worn off of it'" (323). David Allen hite suggests that the story's theme is concerned with intellectual pride and that the penny serves as a symbol of charity, now nowhere to be found in the city -- a point that is reflected in the darkness of the buildings where no lights shine (and to which Julian turns hopelessly for help at the end of the story). John F. McCarthy views Julian as a character who is more or less a symbol of arrogance (1144), and O'Connor herself viewed her creation as one predominantly concerned with charity and the lack thereof -- symbolized, of…… [Read More]
Flannery O'Connor's story "Good Country People" and Eudora elty's "A orn Path" are both stories about the ways in which people connect to each other and the poor job that they generally make of the process. hile each of these stories seems at first to be about people's attempting to communicate with each other, by the end of both of these stories what we are left with is an impression of the ways in which people are isolated from each other both by their preconceptions of what certain kind of people should be like as well as by the way life's tragedies accumulate over time to create barriers between people that are impermeable even to far more genuine attempts to communicate than we see in these stories.
O'Connor's story is set in a rural Georgia that seems distant to the kind of America that most of us are familiar with…… [Read More]
Frailty of the Human Psyche Explored by Flannery O'Connor
Flannery O'Connor's stories remain popular because she creates colorful characters that help her drive her points home. In many ways, O'Connor delivers readers a different reality, which allows them to look upon characters in a different way, thus forcing them to look at humanity in a different way as well. In "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "Everything that Rises Must Converge," O'Connor presents extreme realities with extraordinary characters. Grandma, The Misfit, Julian and his mother appear to be one kind of person but in truth, they are different from these facades. They believe they are one way but readers see them as something else. The reader in these cases is the silent observer and O'Connor uses this situation well because this is how we are in many situations in everyday life. e simply watch others as they interact…… [Read More]
There is an almost pitiable desperation to challenge her sensibilities, indeed to teach her a lesson, that is overtly self-serving. And so we see, in the resolution of O'Connor's story, that Julian will suffer the consequences of his illusions. In no way does Julian's behavior absolve the deplorable belief system espoused by his mother and the great many of her ilk. However, it does demonstrate the smallness of all its subjects. The humorous moments leading to the climax -- in which Julian's mother and the portly black woman on the bus are revealed to be wearing the same hat about which such a fuss had been pitched in the story's opening sequence -- imply a sort of likeness between the women. The two are irreparably segregated from one another by a prejudice inbuilt to centuries of intolerance, mistreatment and mis-education. And for Julian's mother, racism is a natural worldview derived…… [Read More]
Although he is compared to divinity, The Misfit is not a "good man," just as the Grandmother is not a good woman. O'Connor purposely alludes to the Old Testament because the deity described there is not necessarily "good" in the sense that He brings joy to human beings. Rather, the Biblical God is vengeful, full of wrath and disgust for humanity. God is, in many ways, like The Misfit. He brings disasters upon humanity and punishes people, often for no reason, as in the story of Job. The Old Testament God is then compared with Jesus Christ, about whom the grandmother and The Misfit exchange many words. Based on their discussions, it is clear that The Misfit has contemplated the nature of Jesus far more than the grandmother, who simply relies on her faith. The grandmother continuously pleads with The Misfit to "pray." However, his response is an intellectual investigation…… [Read More]
Plot and "Good Man is Hard to Find"
An Analysis of Plot in O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find"
Plot, as Aristotle observes, is the representation of an action with a beginning, middle, and an end. Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is an example of a short story with just such a plot. O'Connor's stories often represent the action of grace, and in this story the action of grace is first seen as lacking, as something that is needed in the Grandmother; then it is prepared for by the trip, and finally it is delivered through the intervention of the Misfit and his meeting with the Grandmother. This paper will show how plot works by using O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find."
The action of O'Connor's short story is set up in the first paragraph when the Grandmother is described as not…… [Read More]
Southern Stories Revelation of the Intrigues of Classism and Racism
The two stories, William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is hard to find are southern literature. Southern literature share common elements such as family focus, racial issues, classism and justice among others. Faulkner is one frequently mentioned writer especially in relation to the Renaissance movement during the 1930s. A Nobel Prize winner he is a significant figure in the history of the south. Faulkner witnessed the challenges that the South faced during his time and more so the discrimination against the African-Americans and the reluctance of the political establishment to embrace change. As much as he was not vocal on these issues, he used perspectivism as a tool against these issues and to point at the erosion of the southern hospitality that gave the family and community priority over the individual. He is bold…… [Read More]
Manley forces Hulga to realize she is not the thought woman she wants to be and he forces Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman that not all country people are good.
Hulga is not the strong women she attempts to be, however, and nothing demonstrates this more than her reaction to Manley's treatment of her. In the home with the two older women, Hulga can express herself as she wishes because she knows these women will excuse her at the end of the day. Mrs. Hopewell has done this for most of Hulga's life so Hulga does not feel threatened by Manley. Hugla's view of the world is severely skewed. She believes she knows everything and brags about that, stating, "Some of us have taken off our blindfolds and see that there's nothing to see. It's a kind of salvation" (273). Her education is limited to the confines of her world…… [Read More]
Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" provides readers with ideas related to morality and to the fact that society has the tendency to put labels on things. The central characters in the story form a rather dysfunctional family, with the father being pressured by his mother to do a series of things that he doesn't want to while she appears to leave in an imaginary world. The idea of good is used to such a degree in the story that it eventually comes to lose significance. The grandmother seems to be obsessed with this respective concept and uses it to describe a series of things. Instead of actually making it possible for readers to gain a more complex understanding of the idea, she brings confusion to the topic as a result of generalizing it and using it in context where it does not necessarily apply.…… [Read More]
Good Man is Hard to Find
For the purposes of this essay, I chose Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find." "A Good Man is Had to Find" is an apt topic for research such as this, because the ambiguity of the story's position regarding a grandmother ultimately responsible for the death of her entire family leads to a wide variety of possible readings, each with its own adherents and defenders. Upon reading this story, I immediately questioned the grandmother's role in the story, and especially whether or not the story portrayed her in a positive or negative light, because although at points in the story she appears positive in contrast to the other characters, she is ultimately shown to be reactive, shortsighted, and altogether incapable of protecting either her family or herself. Using Google Scholar, I searched for academic essays and books discussing "A Good…… [Read More]
Circle in the Fire," and "Everything that Rises Must Converge" by Flannery O'Connor
This is a paper on the analysis of the two books "A Circle in the Fire," and "Everything that Rises Must Converge" by Flannery O'Connor, which exposes many similarities between them.
The two stories of Flannery O'Connor are written from a matriarchal perspective and depict the lives of women in control of other's lives or property. They show that no matter how much wealth a person may amass, they are all still prone to suffer. Thus, there is an element of 'twist of fate' in both these pieces of literature. It also shows that as these leading characters are women they should understand the world from their softer perspective because of the fact that there are still others of their type in a worse of position financially, as well as politically. Instead, we see the opposite from…… [Read More]
age and several thousand miles separated Russian Alexander Pushkin and American Flannery O'Connor. This essay seeks to illustrate why they deserve to be considered as icons of world literature. Pushkin's body of works spans poetry -- romantic and political, essays, and novels. Influential music composers like Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Rimsky Korsakov and Tchaikovsky adapted the lyrical and dramatic elements of Pushkin's works. Flannery O'Connor's work, on the other hand, was largely restricted to short stories. The profundity of her work lies in its uniqueness -- not volume. Her stories hide gruesomeness, truth and religious thought that is not immediately obvious at a superficial level.
The short-story "The Queen of Spades," while not necessarily representative of all of Pushkin's work gives us an idea of the narrative skills that keep the reader on edge. (Pushkin, 1834) The twists in the story combine elements of fantasy. ut at heart this is a story…… [Read More]
Likewise, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor illustrates the cruelties of modern life. It too begins with ominous foreshadowing. The efforts of the old grandmother to look beautiful foreshadow her fate: "Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady." The attitude of the family is evident early on when visiting a roadside diner: "No I certainly wouldn't,' June Star said. 'I wouldn't live in a broken-down place like this for a million bucks!' And she ran back to the table." The intrusion of the Misfit into the 'happy' (yet really unhappy) middle-class family's ordinary road trip ironically highlights the pettiness of their concerns, rather than the serial…… [Read More]
Life and Death in Shanghai" by Nien Cheng, "Atonement" by Ian McEwan and "The Violent Bear it Away" by Flannery O'Connor.
This paper will analyze how the three books demonstrate the significance of truth in one's life and how big a priority it is or isn't.
Search For Truth
Is Truth the winner in the end? Is the battle between Good or Evil always by won by Good? Could lies have terrible consequences on not only one's own life but on others? These are some of the questions that are raised and/or answered in Life and Death in Shanghai, Atonement and The Violent Bear It All.
Life and Death in Shanghai" by Nien Cheng is a true account of how Nien Cheng's life was persecuted and imprisoned during the time of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution in China. (1966-1976).
During this time, Nien Cheng became a victim of the revolution. Her…… [Read More]
Traditions and traditional ways of doing things are considered good or moral, while modern times are considered worse than the past and immoral. At the end of the short story, it is the grandmother who is continually insisting that "The Misfit" is actually good inside, begging for him to find his own sense of morality.
"Araby," however, offers an almost opposite view of morality. While readers of "A Good Man is Hard To Find" are barraged with the grandmother's ideas of morality and instructions on how to be more moral, the main character in "Araby" practices an internal monitoring of his morality. For instance, the main character assesses the Priest who lived in the family's home as a tenant, thinking him generous because he gave away all of his possessions upon his death. Further, at the end of the story, the main character has the chance to evaluate his own…… [Read More]
Is there such a thing as retribution, though -- or at least does evil ever regret its actions. As the story ends, Misfit seems to be thinking about goodness and probably thinking that evil is not the answer to the problems in his life. At the end of the story Misfit regrets killing Grandma, and says that "she would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." Everyone has evil inside them; sometimes we see only good or only evil; but the battle exists on various planes in a regular, almost evolutionary manner -- the conflict is what drives humans forward. What are these consequences, though? If Mme. Loisel would not have been so determined to rise above her station and show off, or if she had been more honest and less presumptive, she would not have spent a…… [Read More]
"A Good Man is Hard to Find" ends with the family being executed by the Misfit, a murderous outlaw. Although O'Connor's story is evidently supposed to be humorous, it gives the reader pause to note that the family will die without ever exchanging a kind word. There are different types of family violence: the somewhat positive violence of the Roethke poem that makes the boy adore his father at the expense of his mother vs. The carelessness and cruelty in the O'Connor story, which arises as a result of a lack of respect and the superficiality of the modern family. Family relationships do not necessarily create a state of understanding. In the story, the most transcendent moment of grace occurs between two strangers, before one kills the other, as physical violence makes the grandmother appreciate her time on earth. "His voice seemed about to crack and the grandmother's head…… [Read More]
myth of Narcissus is often misunderstood; many of the readers of the myth interpret the events as Narcissus gazing down at his own reflection in the water and falling in love with himself. The reality of the myth is that through some insufficiency of his own character, Narcissus is unable to identify that the reflection in the water is himself. The lack inside of Narcissus causes him to believe it's another person and he falls in love with this vision. A similar lack pervades through the characters of the story "Indian Camp" by Ernest Hemingway and "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor. In these stories, characters abound with paucities in nature but surfeits in egotism. This paper will examine the similarities in the imbalance of the moral fiber of these characters, the language that surrounds them to display this phenomenon and attempt to demonstrate how such visions of superiority have…… [Read More]
edemption is a theme that is prevalent in many works of literature. As it has its basis in religious belief, religion is often an accompanying theme to stories about redemption. Two stories that involve redemption are James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues and Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People, but both do so in very different ways. While Baldwin's Sonny's Blues portrays redemption in a more traditional way, O'Connor's Good Country People demonstrates redemption in a dark and somewhat tragic way. But in both stories the characters, after some pain and suffering, do gain redemption in their own ways.
Baldwin's story is a take-off of the "prodigal son" story from the Bible with two brothers, one good and one a troublemaker. The narrator in Sonny's Blues is asked by his dying mother to take care of his younger brother Sonny who is a drug abuser.(Baldwin, 1995, pp.118-119) After an initial attempt, he turns…… [Read More]
Crime and Punishment
Ours is an extremely violent kind of world where even the most common type of folk can find themselves faced with types of unspeakable horrors and criminal activity through little or no intention of their own. In American literature, a common theme is the concept of the freedom of choice and how a person's choices come to affect not only themselves, but all of the people around them. Some of the choices that people, and their literary counterparts, make lead them to crime. It is the purpose of the American justice system to ensure that crimes are punished. However, in literature, that is not always the case. Crime in the American judicial sense is activity which violates the laws of the United States of America. In literature, these are not always the crimes that the authors feel deserve punishment. Three specific stories which deal with crime and…… [Read More]
It is through a horrible act of violence that the grandmother and we understand that things do not always work out as we plan and some stories do not have a happy ending.
In "Cathedral," Carver utilizes a less dramatic setting to convey a message to us. In this story, the narrator is uneasy about Robert's visit and does not know how to behave when they first meet. It is only through a conversation about cathedrals that allows the narrator to discover something about Robert and himself. The setting is significant because this is the place where the narrator and Robert meet and where the narrator has his epiphany.
The mood of the home changes from negative to positive.
Sight becomes significant in the story as well because that is what the entire story revolves around and that is what ultimately brings the two men closer. Because the…… [Read More]
Cars and driving are emblems of American culture, and have defined American lifestyle and identity. American cities are built around the car, and so is the urban and suburban sprawl. It is no small coincidence, therefore, that both Flannery O'Connor and Dagoberto Gilb use a car as a central symbol in their short stories. In O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find," a road trip turns deadly when the family runs into a group of escaped convicts on their way to Florida. Florida makes a brief appearance in Gilb's short story, "Love in L.A.," too, as protagonist Jake mistakes Mariana's heritage for being Cuban since her license plates are from Florida. Like "A Good Man is Hard to Find," "Love in L.A." centers around cars and driving as the central motifs, but in Gilb's story, the ending is not gruesome. Although "Love in L.A." And "A Good Man is…… [Read More]
Another grotesque character in the story is the never-seen Mrs. Pike, an individual who fascinates both women in different ways and who is present in the beauty shop in the form of her son Billy Boy, himself fascinated by beauty shops and also challenge to the two women in different ways. Mrs. Fletcher is pregnant and already wary of having a child, though she begins to warm to the idea even though Billy is the example in front of her. Leota indulges the boy in some degree because of her regard for his mother, though her patience wears thin. For most of the conversation, these two women show their need to dominate men and each other, and the story thus depicts the usual battle of the sexes in a grotesque way, with the image of the petrified man in the carnival standing in both for the threat men pose (he…… [Read More]
This skilled use of ironic prose is also observable in "A Jury of her Peers" by Susan Glaspell, as when the woman who has just committed murder tells the investigators: "after a minute...'I sleep sound.'" the tale depicts how a group of women gradually deduce, through small and simple clues, how Mrs. right killed her husband, and why. The women's observations are more astute than the male investigator's analysis, according to police protocols. The point of the story is not murder, but the fact that the murder's quiet wifely desperation has gone ignored for so long, and that only fellow female sufferers can see this sorrow after the fact. Likewise, the point of O'Connor's story, more than the lurid aspects, are the ways that families and human beings fail to connect and communicate with one another, before it is too late.
A naysayer might sniff and ask why use murder…… [Read More]
In O'Connor short story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the antagonist is an outlaw, in keeping with the frequent use of alienated members of society in Romantic poetry and literature. The alienated member of society is contrasted with the crass materialism and superficiality of the family the Misfit kills. The child June Star is so poorly brought up that she says: "I wouldn't live in a broken-down place like this for a million bucks!" To the owner of the roadside restaurant the family stops at, and is punished dearly for her transgression by the author O'Connor with death.
Yet the grandmother, upon hearing of the story of the Misfit says: "hy you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!" The grandmother is said to "reached out and touch" the Misfit him on the shoulder, but the Misfit is said to have "sprang back as if…… [Read More]
She does so initially through semi-sincere flattery: "you shouldn't call yourself The Misfit because I know you're a good man at heart. I can just look at you and tell," (147). Later, she gets under the Misfit's skin by touching him, an act that causes him to shoot her.
It is precisely the Grandmother's willful desire to control other people and situations that the entire family ends up dead. For example, it was the Grandmother's fault that Bailey took the wrong turn; in fact the Grandmother uses cunning lies to lure the family into going to visit the plantation: "There was a secret panel in this house,' she said craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were," (143). hen she realized her error, she did not admit it, preferring to remain in control of the situation. Her silent embarrassment caused the accident that led to the encounter with…… [Read More]
Both have in their own way gone against the norm. When Babli, embittered by the men in her life, and after losing hope of ever having the man she loves decides to have a baby alone, she breaks her fathers will. For in a traditional Hindu family the girl accepts the match set up by the father, but here, we read how she chooses her mate, loses him and then goes against her own values to have a child. it's the ultimate rebellion from the conventional ways and undermines the very conception of hindu family values as understood by the traditional Indians, and hence creates a conflict of conventional and modern ways and starts the debate of whether second and third generation immigrants will ever completely follow their own cultures as set forth by their parents.
5. The Gold-Legged Frog by Khamsing Srinawk
Passage: "You sure are lucky,' the words…… [Read More]
As Robillard points out, "Julian's cynicism shuts him off from any human association," (143). He has lost his family home due to the changes taking place in Southern society. The economic infrastructure that was supported by slavery has crumbled. Julian notes, "He never spoke of it without contempt or thought of it without longing. He had seen it once when he was a child before it had been sold." Moreover, the narrator mentions that African-Americans lived in his old family home now. Julian seems to be experiencing a cognitive dissonance that epitomizes Southern culture during integration.
Using an unreliable narrator enhances cognitive dissonance and irony. Aull also notes that Julian might be deceiving himself. In that case, the third-person omniscient narrator would only be echoing Julian's mind games. Ultimately, "Everything that Rises Must Converge" is a tragedy. The story needs its unreliable narrator to flush out the dissonance in Southern…… [Read More]
Good Country People: Metaphor and Irony
Joy Hulga is the main character of Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People." She represents the proud, young educated student who has renounced any faith in Christ. As her mother Mrs. Hopewell puts it to Manley Pointer, the Bible salesman, "My daughter is an atheist and won't let me keep the Bible in the parlor" (O'Connor 278). Manley turns out to be both Joy's double and foil -- atheistic like herself, but also seeking to seduce her for her false leg (he is a collector of oddities), even as she seeks to seduce him to show that she does not believe in sin. The great irony is that proud Hulga falls for Manley -- only to be rejected. For O'Connor, a Roman Catholic, sin is the absence of good -- and the absence of any good whatsoever at the end of the story is what…… [Read More]
character with reference to main themes of the short story, 'A good man is hard to find' by Flannery O'Connor. Grandmother occupies the most important place in the story along with the Misfit. She is quite a manipulative woman whose real character surfaces when she is closest to death.
Good Man is Hard To Find' good man is hard to find' is not exactly the kind of story that you would want to read again and again. This is because there is certain air of evilness surrounding the entire plot and the ending is pretty grotesque. The characters are all rather bleak and death seems to prevail over every scene and conversation. Symbolism has been used effectively to accentuate the presence of death and homicide. Though there appears to be nothing extraordinary about the story, the only thing that really attracts the attention of the readers is close to perfect…… [Read More]
Nineteen Thirty-Seven and the River
Edwidge Danticat and Flannery O'Connor both explore the influence of religion in creating a belief system in individuals who have been disconnected from societies' main stream in their shot stories Nineteen Thirty-Seven and The River. Characters in both stories have been abandoned by humanity and strive to regain their identity through God's grace. Danticat uses a poverty stricken Haitian woman, Manman, who has been accused of being a witch and incarcerated, while O'Connor incorporates a very young affluent boy, Bevel, who has been discounted as a human being and forsaken by his parents to frame their stories. Both Manman and Bevel use religion, specifically Christianity, to help them find an identity under hostile conditions.
Danticat's story is set in Haiti, in a society that is dominated by poverty and superstitious beliefs. Manman is hauled out of her home one morning, beaten by her neighbors, and…… [Read More]
Yet perhaps no American author embraced the grotesque with the same enthusiasm as the Southern Flannery O'Connor. In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," O'Connor uses the example of a family annihilated by the side of the road by an outlaw named the Misfit to show the bankruptcy of American life. Instead of an evil serial killer, the Misfit is portrayed as a kind of force of divine justice, who unintentionally allows the grandmother of the family to experience grace. She says that she believes the man is like one of own her children before he kills her. In O'Connor's stories, the characters do not fight for their insight, rather it is given in mysterious, often deadly ways, and it always originates with the divine, not with the human will.
If O'Connor represents the most extreme version of grotesque American literature, Ralph Ellison represents perhaps the most balanced use…… [Read More]
The grandmother does not realize the harmful effects that her behavior can have in particular circumstances. She blindly acts as if she is not talking with a cruel murderer at the time when she comes across the Misfit. This backfires on her and is ultimately the reason for which she and her family end up being killed by the murderers. Through labeling the Misfit as a blood-thirsty killer she actually influences him in acknowledging that his only option is to kill the whole family.
All things considered, the grandmother is guilty and innocent at the same time. She is guilty because she is reluctant to act in agreement with society's legislations (even with the fact that they are not fair) and innocent because she lives in a corrupt society that immediately puts an individual down when he or she shows signs of resistance.
O'Conner, Flannery, "A Good Man Is…… [Read More]
People can be affected by religion in different ways and The Misfit becomes the perfect character to uncover the grandmother's gullibility. She, in turn, is the perfect person to expose his evil nature. This contrast allows O'Connor uses to reveal the delicate nature of man. Somehow, in the midst of everything, the two people bond, leaving the grandmother with a false sense of hope. She believes, because she knows best, that she has transformed his life. She truly believes she can change him. Parini writes that at the moment he shots her, she realizes "they are connected, and through a horrible act of violence she has received a moment of understanding, if not grace" (Parini 231). The showdown becomes one between The Misfit's powerful convictions and the grandmother's shallow beliefs. O'Connor proves with these individuals the importance of being passionate about the right thing. Being passionate about Jesus is good,…… [Read More]
killer and his victim has been one of the most enduring topics throughout horror and suspense fiction, and it is this relationship which ties together three ostensibly distinct stories: Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find," Joyce Carol Oates' "here Are You Going, here Have You Been," and Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado." In each case, the majority of the story consists of the killer talking to his victim(s), some of whom are unaware of their fate at the beginning of the conversation, but who gradually come to realize the killer's true intention. The relationship which develops between killer and victim (however brief) in each story reveals something about how killers are treated by society, as people, and within society, as characters and archetypes. Considering how each of these stories intersect and diverge in their treatment of the relationship between killer and victim will serve to…… [Read More]