Essay on A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

651 Words Apr 27th, 2013 3 Pages
Fiction Essay

Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner said that a writer must “leave no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking with any story is ephemeral and doomed- love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.” Flannery O’Connor uses these universal truths in her short story, A Good Man Is Hard to Find. An old southern woman trying to come to terms with the new culture of the south dooms her family by unknowingly leading them to come face to face with a notorious criminal called “The Misfit”. O’Connor pushes her characters to the edge using violence so that they may find grace. In the story, there is a human versus human conflict. The
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She is only interested in saving herself and that is her motivation for trying to reason with The Misfit. Only during the last moments of her life does she begin to shout out for her son. The story ends tragically because the whole family is murdered. The grandmother realized that her generation was the reason why The Misfit existed calling him “one of my own children” (O’Connor 132). This goes back to the culture of the Old South, which bred the next generation of the New South. The grandmother realizes that the reason why this new culture is so different is because the Old South created it, old southern values were no longer respected. When The Misfit shoots the grandmother she “half sat and half lay in a puddle of blood with her legs crossed under her like a child’s and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky.” (O’Connor 132). In these moments after her death O’Connor gave her grace. Even though she has been brutally murdered she has been given this peace as she looks up into the sky. In this story, Flannery O’Connor pushed her characters to the edge by using extreme violence. In “A Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable,” O’Connor explains her reasons for doing this. O’Connor writes, “I have found that violence is strangely capable of returning my characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace.” (O’Connor 1048). The grandmother’s violent murder gave her grace and clarity. O’Connor

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