Through Redemption Shines God’s Grace: Analysis Of Symbolism In “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” By Flannery O’connor

942 words - 4 pages

“A Good Man is hard to Find”, by Flannery O’Connor uses a plethora of religious and sacrilegious symbolic aspects to deliver the defining moral to this short story. Through such symbols as the color gray, the clouds in the sky, circular objects, the hats worn by the main characters, The Misfits spectacles, and the identifying snake used as a simile all contain the underlining Catholic Stoicism and ideology of Jesus Christ the redeemer and the divine grace of God.
The color gray associated with loss symbolizes ash and repentance. Pitty Sing, the grandmother’s cat was a gray stripped with a broad white face. The gray monkey outside Red Sammy’s, The Tower was chained to a chinaberry tree. Red ...view middle of the document...

Circles are often seen as a protective shield. Standing with in a circle shields a person from supernatural dangers or influences outside the circle. The Misfit drew a circle with his gun as he squatted in front of the grandmother. The grandmother wore a polka dot print described as a “navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print” (O’Connor 309). Throughout the story the grandmother and The Misfit are characterized as lost prophets, children of God who lost their faith and spirituality through materialistic obsessions and evil.
Many of the characters are described wearing hats or head coverings. The grandmother wore a “navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim” (O’Connor 309). The Misfit wore a black hat. When the family got into an accident the grandmothers hat broke at the brim, she continued to wear the hat with the broken brim still attached until later in the story when she reaches up to adjust it and it falls into her hand. Joann McMullen in her analysis believes the hats symbolize the characters’ rejection of grace. With The Misfits specifically, his black hat (the color being associated with evil) blocks out the sun while he murders; and this is symbolic of him “blocking out” God as he unabashedly exhibits vengeance (McMullen 34-36).
The Misfit “wore silver-rimmed spectacles that gave him a scholarly look.”(O’Connor 314). Glass usually representing a transparent symbol of purity is worn as a protective device for The Misfit against redemption and the grace from God. “Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my children!” She reached out and touched him on the shoulder. The Misfit sprang back as...

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