Symbolism In A Good Man Is Hard To Find And Araby

1368 words - 5 pages


In the short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, by Flannery O'Connor, every object including the characters are symbols. The Grandmother for example is the one and only dynamic character, represents all of us who have had to feel grief or needed to ask for forgiveness. As Flannery O'Connor has suggested, the story is a spiritual journey because of the Grandmother's quandaries. In the beginning of the story the Grandmother is obsessed with everything worldly and superficial. She cares only about how others perceive her,
“Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady” (O'Conner 413).
She gets dressed up for a car trip so that, on the random chance that they would be in a car accident and that in that wreck she would be thrown from the car and laying on the pavement, she would be happy because the people passing by would think that she is a lady. This represents us as humans because daily we choose to be way too self-conscience. We care what people think whether we admit it or not. The first thing that comes to mind is me and my make-up. Make-up is a perfect example of us women caring a great deal about what others think of us. She is also very selfish in her activities. Instead
of caring about what is best for the family, she wants to go to Tennessee because she has friends there whom she would like to see.
There are three stages of thought for the Grandmother. During the first stage, which is in the beginning, she is completely focused on herself in relation to how others think of her. The second stage occurs when she is speaking to The Misfit. In the story, The Misfit represents a judgment that could make or break her. He acts like a mirror. He lets whatever the Grandmother says bounce right off him. He never really agrees with her or disagrees, and in the end he is the one who kills her. His second to last line, “She would of been a good woman,” The Misfit said, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life,”(O'Conner 425). might be the way O'Conner felt about most of us alive, or how she felt that God must feel about us. The third, and final stage of the Grandmother is the moment of recovery. She finally sees The Misfit for who he really is, a person just like her. He is not someone who was made by his social class. He is a simple human being just like her. At this point she sees herself in relation to everyone else. She finally realizes that her class does not make her. Society makes the class, and she just fits into it. She shows this by claiming that The Misfit could be one of her own beloved children.
For the longest time in her life, she reasoned with the final judger, and her redemption all add up to the spiritual plight that we all must take in life. Everyone may not all be Christians, but the...

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