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The Holy Conradictions Of Flannery O'connor A Literary Overview And Analysis Of Flannery O'connor's Usage Of Symbolism And Religion In "A Good Man Is Hard To Find"

1431 words - 6 pages

The Holy Contradictions of Flannery O'Connor'sA Good Man is Hard To FindThe realm of literature is littered with the works of fine authors who instead of relaying their messages blatantly, gave responsibility to the reader to in turn decipher the morale and the myth of the story. Logan Pearsall Smith once expressed his love for the literary prodigies by stating, "What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers." When he was quoted for saying this he was referring to authors such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, and of course Flannery O'Connor, the southern catholic raised woman who revolutionized literature with her religious messages poignant in her works. O'Connor used imagery including controversial issues such as prejudice, superficiality of manners, and gods position in a world of sin to assist her in her goal to wow the world into religious shape. But what came with her astounding works was a barrage of harmful critiques aimed at her "problematic" issues in her stories and her supposed contradictory manner in which she wrote of things. In A Good man is Hard to Find, O'Connor utilizes the grandmother, who is one of the main characters, to be viewed as prejudice as well as racist. The old bitty holds a class system in her mental filing cabinet according to race and religion. When the family is driving to Florida, the grandmother gleefully picks fun at what she calls a "pickaninny" along the roadside. A word that was considered as crass as "nigger" today, referred to African Americans. Because the African child is wearing no pants she then states, "Little niggers in the country don't have things like we do." The grandmother proceeds to sit in the back with the children, who are symbols of innocence, not yet exposed to the world, and tells a joke about a watermelon being devoured by a "nigger boy," as she drops a stereotype left and right.Furthermore, critics view her portrayal of the grandmother's racism as being harsh and unruly, stating that woman of that era were bred with racist lenses. Most criticisms of the story appear to take a sentimental view of the grandmother largely because she is a grandmother (Bandy 2). In those days, the south was a collection of racist family trees recycled and educated with the nature to place people into classes by how they looked or what they wore. So, what may have been crude was also engrained into their DNA, so to speak. It was an acrid yet barefaced reality and proved problematic within her writing. For instance, while some learned lessons of anti-prejudice and anti-racist views, they were also obligated to be prejudice and racist against the characters displaying the characteristic, which consequently created contradiction.In succession with prejudice and racism, the grandmother is a poster boy of superficiality. To demonstrate this point, O'Connor used contrast between clothing the elderly woman wore to the clothes her son's wife, who is known...

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