Depiction Of Violence In Flannery O Connors Revelation.Pdf

1227 words - 5 pages

http://shortstories.about.com/od/ContemporaryStories/fl/Analysis-of-A-Good-Man-Is-Hard-to-Find-by-Flannery-OConnor.htm"A Good Man Is Hard to Find," first published in 1953, is among the most famous stories by Georgia writer Flannery O'Connor. O'Connor was a staunch Catholic, and like most of her stories, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" wrestles with questions of good and evil and the possibility of divine grace.PlotA grandmother is traveling with her family (her son, Bailey, his wife, and their three children) from Atlanta to Florida for a vacation. The grandmother, who would prefer to go to east Tennessee, informs the family that a violent criminal known as The Misfit is loose in Florida, but they do not change their plans. The grandmother secretly brings her cat in the car.They stop for lunch at Red Sammy's Famous Barbecue, and the grandmother and Red Sammy commiserate that the world is changing and "a good man is hard to find."After lunch, the family begins driving again and the grandmother realizes they are near an old plantation she once visited. Wanting to see it again, she tells the children that the house has a secret panel, and they clamor to go. Bailey reluctantly agrees. As they drive down a rough dirt road, the grandmother suddenly realizes that the the house she is remembering is in Tennessee, not Georgia.Shocked and embarrassed by the realization, she accidentally kicks over her belongings, releasing the cat, which jumps onto Bailey's head and causes an accident.A car slowly approaches them, and the Misfit and two young men get out. The grandmother recognizes him and says so. The two young men take Bailey and his son into the woods, and shots are heard. Then they take the mother, the daughter, and the baby into the woods. More shots are heard. Throughout, the grandmother pleads for her life, telling The Misfit she knows he's a good man and entreating him to pray.He engages her in a discussion about goodness, Jesus, and crime and punishment. She touches his shoulder, saying, "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!" but The Misfit recoils and shoots her.Defining "Goodness"The grandmother's definition of what it means to be "good" is symbolized by her very proper and coordinated traveling outfit. O'Connor writes:"In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady."The grandmother is clearly concerned with appearances above all else. In this hypothetical accident, she worries not about her death or the deaths of her family members, but about strangers' opinions of her. She also demonstrates no concern for the state of her soul at the time of her imagined death, but I think that's because she's operating under the assumption that her soul is already as pristine as her "navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim."She continues to cling to superficial definitions of goodness as she pleads with The Misfit. She entreats him not to shoot "a lady," as...

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