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Flannery O'connor In "A Good Man Is Hard To Find"

1280 words - 5 pages

Flannery O'Connor was born in Georgia in 1925 during the Great Depression. She was an only child, brought up in a highly religious home, and grew up in the South. These aspects of her life become apparent when reading her short stories. O'Connor's most famed story; "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" follows an obscure family on their vacation to Florida. She uses life, as she knows it, to convey a world that she believes exists. "What she learned as a child remained with her and became the corner stone of her best work. Her sometimes worldly stories are always grounded in a certain religious innocence which can be traced directly to her early years" (UW Stout, 1). O'Connor's life can be traced through her stories; the way she sees life, her attitude towards human nature, and her belief in God.Being an only child makes it difficult to be a good judge of character. Many children in such a situation are often unable to make real human connections and understand the importance of family. This way of thinking comes out in "A Good Man Is Hard To Find." She created a family full of obnoxious characters. None of these characters get along with one another and the result of such a lack of human relationship is death. She was so young when her father died of lupus that she never experienced a real father-daughter connection. She just assumed that a family that does not understand each other and appreciate what they have has no right living together. One moment in particular is a striking example of a non-existent familial bond, "The children began to yell and scream that they wanted to see the house with the secret panel. John Wesley kicked the back of the front seat and June Star hung over her mother's shoulder and whined desperately into her ear" (O'Connor, 389). The love of family is barren in this scene and through most of the story, not until the very end was there even an inkling of proof that love existed.Although she did not understand family, O'Connor accepted and embraced the results of her incurable disease. Not only was she able to handle her sickness, she wrote most of her stories and books while she was ill. O'Connor saw life as an equal to death and this mindset was strong in her writing as well. "Missing "¦ is a sense of human death, human life or directly felt passion"¦the story convey[s] a feeling of undifferentiated life-of there being few distinctions between living and dying" (Hendin, 148). Unfortunately due to her inability to make distinctions between life and death her stories had a somber and mournful tone. One reason for this is the fact that O'Connor's father died at an early age from a disease that she would get later on. She brought this aspect of her life into the character, the Misfit, "'My daddy died in nineteen ought nineteen of the epidemic flu and I never had a thing to do with it'" (O'Connor, 393). He never really had the chance to grow up and live life, he was always tied down by "the Authorities." O'Connor must...

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