• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Deconstructing O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find".

Extracts from this document...


Deconstructing O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" It is for centuries past that the theme of death and salvation was encapsulated majestically in western literature. Also, it is for centuries that modern writers have refrained from the intervention of such topic into their pieces of work, condemning its solemn repetition and its obsoleteness. However, in the 20th century American literature, Flannery O'Connor has revived the thematic significance of Christian salvation in which death occasionally gets involved. A devout Christian she is, O'Connor combines her profound religious knowledge with her Southern milieu, contemporary violence, and satiric sense of humour, which has emerged mostly in form of the short story, her most celebrated genre. Published and re-published since 1955 is O'Connor's first collection of short stories, A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories, throughout which her Christian beliefs have been meticulously patterned. Apart from other short stories that deal with the downfall of pride is "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" whose major concern has been directed toward death and salvation and has been embodied with other minor concerns, such as adults' influences upon children and changing values in American society. ...read more.


Having prepared the ground for the protagonist's cathartic moment, O'Connor then creates a critical moment for the Grandmother in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find", which functions as stimulus for the enlightenment of the central character. Having had an accident on the way to the 'house with a secret panel' and now encountering the Misfit, the grandmother is in the most crucial position that life offers the Christian; she is facing death. She does not really prepare for it and struggles to have the event postponed. Thus, she initiates the conversation with the Misfit, which allows her to contemplate with her own but unrecognized bad deeds and to realize, even in her limited way, that she is responsible for the man before her. O'Connor, before the moment of sudden awareness, lets her heroine digress through her false values. The Grandma's litany of convenient fictions involves class distinction: "I know you're a good man. You don't look a bit like you have common blood", and her shallowness: "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". ...read more.


The grandmother's bad influences have, at the end of the story, lowered the Misfit's level of Grace to that of the grandma's at the beginning of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find". "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is not merely an account of a family murdered on the way to Florida. In it, Flannery O'Connor has cunningly combined her religious beliefs with her contemporary and realistic environment, presented mainly through a female protagonist, an artful grandmother. Her heroine not only makes the reader laugh heartily but thoughtfully. She instills the universal belief of the Christian salvation through the tactful prevalence of humour and bloodshed. O'Connor funny violence in the story is not meant to be the end in itself but a new beginning of an eternal life. 'The man in the violent situation reveals those qualities least dispensable in his personality, those qualities which are all he will have to take into eternity with him' (O'Connor, 'The Element of Suspense in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"' from The Longman Masters of Short Fiction by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn). The story, thus, reminds the reader of the intrusion of God's Providence and of the accessibility of salvation, which is regardless of time, place and the impurity of one's soul. Poonperm PAITAYAWAT 444 01419 22 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. T H E C O S M O L O G ...

    My summary of it is as follows: 1. Everything can 'be' or 'not be' 2. If this is so, given infinite time, at some time everything would not be 3. If there was once nothing, nothing could come from it 4.

  2. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening vs. The Collar.

    that is what he will do because of his love for Him. On the contrary, Stopped by Woods on a Snowy Evening is not specifically about a man following God's calling for his life. Unlike the speaker of The Collar, when he stops to questions things, he is not questioning why God has called him to serve in his vocation.

  1. T H E D E S I G N A R ...

    The kidnapper tells the victim that he will set the machine to work and it will show its first draw - unless the draw consists of an ace of hearts from each pack, the machine will automatically set off an explosion which will kill the victim so he will not see the cards the machine drew.

  2. The Old Testament.

    This is a radical innovation in a world where pantheistic religion more closely resembles a super-powered family that doesn't get along very well. The Egyptian god Re may have been self-created, but he is by no means all-powerful, and not at all the only of his kind.

  1. What do you find particularly horrifying about the world, which E.M. Forster creates?

    There is no mention of currency in the Machine world, so we can draw to conclusion that humans are not made to do any work. Furthermore, Forster uses simile, disease imagery and the alliteration of the 'f' to reinforce Vashti's lack of stamina development and her unattractive physical appearance: "about five feet high, with a face as white as fungus.."

  2. Identify 3 novels, short stories or poems that would have special significance to the ...

    'What a shame.' They all stared intently at the beautiful scene with the flaw in it. The second lady began to pick away at the thread with her little deft scissors flashing. The pattern came out thread by thread. She pulled and yanked, almost viciously. The man's face was gone.

  1. Parables of the Kingdom Mark's Gospel is a synoptic gospel, meaning it is ...

    The seeds which fell onto the rocky ground sprouted, but the little soil meant that they soon dried up in the hot sun. These seeds represent those who listen, but the message does not sink in, and is soon forgotten.

  2. Divine intervention was a major variable in the equation of Homer's Iliad

    One can only wonder how the war would have turned out if the gods had not gotten involved. Would there even have been a war? The Christian God does not play quite the same role as the Greek gods. A view of the Christian God can be seen in the Psalms of David.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work