O Connor A Good Man Is Hard To Find Essay

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The family plans to travel on vacation from their home in Georgia to the state of Florida.

Alarmed by newspaper accounts of an escaped convict, The Misfit, the grandmother attempts to persuade the family to change their vacation destination away from the vicinity of the fugitive.

I realize that a certain amount of this what-is-the-significance has to go on, but I think something has gone wrong in the process when, for so many students, the story becomes simply a problem to be solved, something which you evaporate to get Instant Enlightenment.

A story really isn't any good unless it successfully resists paraphrase, unless it hangs on and expands in the mind.

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"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" O'Connor, Flannery (Full name Mary Flannery O'Connor) American short story writer, novelist, and essayist.Major Themes With rare, but significant, exceptions most critics accept O'Connor's description of "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" as a tale of redemptive grace in a fallen world.The story's religious concerns are expressed through a series of motifs and emblems, cleverly muted by O'Connor's superficially naturalistic style.More recent interpretations of the tale range from structural and political analysis to an examination of its classical and medieval literary influences.SOURCE: "A Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable," in Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1969, pp. [In the following lecture given at Hollins College, Virginia, on October 14, 1963, O'Connor discusses the function of violence in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find."] Last fall I received a letter from a student who said she would be "graciously appreciative" if I would tell her "just what enlightenment" I expected her to get from each of my stories. I wrote her back to forget about the enlightenment and just try to enjoy them.I knew that was the most unsatisfactory answer I could have given because, of course, she didn't want to enjoy them, she just wanted to figure them out.As many commentators argue, the grandmother's epiphanic recognition of her kinship with the desperate figure belatedly redeems her from a life that has been petty, materialistic, and selfish.Her child-like expression as she collapses with crossed legs into her own grave has been suggested as a symbol of her sudden accession to Christian grace.O'Connor herself justified the use of terror to shock spiritually complacent modern readers: "To the hard of hearing you shout and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures." While many critics accept this rationalization, others are less comfortable with the story's abrupt descent into brutality.For some commentators, the jarring shift from comedy to tragedy takes unfair advantage of a group of characters whose depiction verges on caricature.

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