The Use of Religion in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Difficult to Find” Flannery O’Connor is a Christian author. and her work shows Christian subjects of good and evil. grace. and redemption. O’Connor has challenged the subject of faith into all of her plants mostly because of her Roman Catholic upbringing. O’Connor wrote in such a manner that the characters and scenes of her narratives are unforgettable. uncovering deep penetrations into the human being. In O’Connor’s Introduction to a “Memoir of Mary Ann. ” she claims that Christians live to fix for their decease. This statement is reflected in her other plants. including her short narrative “A Good Man is Difficult To Find. ” After reading “A Good Man is Difficult to Find. ” many inquiries remain unreciprocated in my head. Is the Grandmother an evil individual? Do readers experience a sentimental fond regard to the Misfit? Why did the Grandmother name the Misfit her kid? And the list goes on. After multiple readings of “A Good Man is Difficult to Find. ” while it is non clearly stated in the narrative. God’s grace is the cardinal subject in this short narrative. “A Good Man is Difficult to Find” begins with the Grandmother seeking to convert her boy Bailey that they should drive to Tennessee instead than Florida for holiday.
She tries to convert him for her ain selfish benefits by stating him “Now expression here. Bailey…see here. read this…Here this chap that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn’t take my kids in any way with a condemnable like that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my scruples if I did. ” ( O’Connor. “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” 137 ) Her boy ignores her and the following forenoon they start their journey to Florida. The grandmother brings along her cat and hides him so her boy. Bailey. doesn’t notice. In the auto the grandma negotiations about the full drive. She tells the kids about a house with secret transitions she used to see as a kid. The kids want to see and they beg their male parent until he agrees. The grandma directs them to the house. which leads them down a soil route. and so she realizes that the house that she spoke of was in Tennessee and non Florida. The cat jumps out of the hidden basket onto Bailey’s cervix. As a consequence. Bailey loses control and flips the auto. landing in a ditch below the route. The kids are excited about the accident and the grandma fakes an hurt so that her boy would sympathise for her alternatively of be upset at her. They all sit and delay for aid. A auto comes and the grandma waves it down.
Three work forces get out of the auto and they all had guns. The grandma recognizes the Misfit and announces it. The Misfit confirms by saying. “Yes’m. but it would hold been better for all of you. lady. if you hadn’t of reckernized me. ” ( O’Connor. “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” 147 ) The two work forces take Bailey. the grandchildren. and their female parent to the forests and kill them. The grandma tries to dicker with the Misfit to salvage her life but it doesn’t work. He shoots her three times in the thorax. At the beginning of “A Good Man Is Difficult To Find. ” grace is something that all of the characters lack. particularly the grandma.
The grandma is portrayed as a really selfish adult female. yet considers herself a devout Christian. In this narrative she lies and manipulates her household to acquire what she wants. “There was a secret panel in this house. ” she said cunningly. non stating the truth but wishing that she were. “and the narrative went that all the household Ag was hidden in it when Sherman came through but it was ne’er found. . . ” ( O’Connor “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” 143 ) John Desmond provinces in his critical essay “Flannery O’Connor’s Misfit and the Mystery of Evil. ” that. “her lying and selfishness lead straight to the accident and the subsequent slaying of her household. Her self-image as a good adult female is stripped from her. ” ( 150 ) The grandma tries to portray herself as a good Christian but her actions show otherwise.
She believes that the manner she dresses and her southern manners give her power. but she finds out when she has her brush with the Misfit that she truly has no power. The sarcasm in the narrative is shown when the grandma. who thinks she is a good Christian. in world is merely every bit evil as the Misfit. When the grandma and the Misfit are entirely the grandmother’s selfishness becomes evident to readers. Even though her household had merely been murdered. mostly because of the effects of her selfish Acts of the Apostless. she is focused on salvaging her ain life. Furthermore. she tries to convert the Misfit that he is a good adult male. “I merely cognize you’re a good adult male. ” ( O’Connor “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” 148 ) The Misfit answers with. “Nome. I ain’t a good man…but I ain’t the worst in the universe neither. ” ( O’Connor “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” 148 ) He accepts the fact that he has done incorrect but knows there are others who are worst. The grandma speaks of supplication to the Misfit but is unable to declaim one individual supplication. She merely repeatedly uses Jesus name. about as if she is cussing. This symbolizes her weak apprehension of being a Christian. The Misfit is fighting with his religion in God.
While he believes in the being of a God. he does non believe in an active God. His religion battles are likely because of the unfairness he has experienced as a consequence of his unlawful strong belief of slaying his male parent. He explains his uncertainties about Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead with the grandma: “‘I wasn’t there so I can’t state He didn’t…I wisht I had of been there…It ain’t right I wasn’t at that place because if I had of been there I would of known…if I had of been there I would of known and I wouldn’t be like I am now. ’” ( O’Connor “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” 152 ) John Desmond provinces in Flannery O’Connor’s “Misfit and the Mystery of Evil” that “The Misfit feels evil in this castanetss. and he finds it inexplicable. ” ( 145 ) The Misfit shows his personal battle with his evil status through responses to the grandmother’s calls for him to believe in Jesus and accept grace. However. because of his unlawful strong belief and the negative stereotypes that were placed on him from society. the Misfit chooses to perpetrate evil Acts of the Apostless by slaying the grandma. The act of slaying the grandma shows that the Misfit has come to believe himself as an sinner. merely like society placed him as following his slaying strong belief. The Misfit knows of his evil behaviors. and he wants replies to the immorality he feels himself and that he sees in the universe. These inquiries are answered when the grandma tries to widen grace to him. and he rejects it.
The cardinal subject in this narrative is grace. Many may fight with this being the subject because of the violent violent death of the grandma and her household but O’Connor one time said. “I suppose the grounds for the usage of so much force in modern fiction will differ with each author who uses it. but in my ain narratives I have found that force is queerly capable of returning my characters to world and fixing them to accept their minute of grace. Their caputs are so difficult that about nil else will make the work. ( Flannery O’Connor. “On Her Own Work” ) The character of the grandma reaches the flood tide of its development at the flood tide of the narrative right before she experiences decease. She extends grace to the Misfit. which is her lone positive act in the narrative. She realizes that her and the Misfit are bound together by the good that is in them by naming him her kid. “Why you’re one of my babes. You’re one of my ain kids! ” ( O’Connor “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” 152 ) At this minute the grandma understands there is nil else to make that is traveling to forestall her from deceasing.
She tries to make out to him and widen grace but the Misfit embraces decease. Mark Mitchell provinces in his diary. “The Melancholy Tyrant Democracy and Tyranny in Flannery O ; Connor’s A Good Man is Difficult to Find. ” that “at this minute O’Connor highlights the sad world of so many who hear about the grace of Christ but refuse to give up to it. which enslaves them. ” ( 3 ) The Misfit is enslaved in immorality. He has many inquiries as to why he does. experience. and sees evil things. but he rejects the reply to his inquiries when he receives it. When the grandma extends her grace. the Misfit reacts in panic. as if a serpent had bitten him. The Misfit experiences her minute of grace as a minute of evil disclosure that he will ne’er understand why evil exists. In “Gravity and Grace” . Weli states that a “hurtful act is the transference to others of the debasement we bear in ourselves. That is why we are inclined to perpetrate such Acts of the Apostless as a manner of rescue. ” John Desmond says. “shooting the grandma can be seen. in. portion as the Misfit’s self-generated effort to reassign his ain felt debasement to another as a mean of release. ” ( 149 ) The Misfit States. “No pleasances but beastliness. ”
( O’Connor “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find”152 ) The Misfit can non do himself equal from his feeling of debasement ; he can merely escalate his hurting. hence the last quotation mark from the Misfit. “It’s no existent pleasance in life. ” ( O’Connor “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” 153 ) The Grandmothers brush with the Misfit unfolds into Godly grace. Although it is rejected. The Misfit understands the grace and knows that if he accepts that his moral character that he has built would be destroyed. After hiting the grandma he says. “She would of been a good woman…if it had been person at that place to hit her every minute of her life. ” ( O’Connor “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” 153 ) The Misfit is observing that she would hold been a “good woman” if a gun was pointed at her every second of her life. In this manner. the grandma would hold been invariably humbled and in a topographic point where she was populating her life towards the “good” of others. widening grace to those around her.
Overall. the subject of grace as explored by O’Connor’s short narrative depicts her belief that “all human nature smartly resists grace because grace alterations us and the alteration is painful. ” ( Flannery O’Connor. The Habit of Being: Letterss of Flannery O’Connor 307 ) In the instance of the Misfit. accepting grace is hard for him to make because it would alter the perceptual experience of himself that he had adopted. as a consequence of the negative stereotypes placed on him by society. His uncertainties about the Christian religion influence his battle to accept grace. His battle is demonstrated through conversation with the grandma about his ability to be a “good adult male. ” In the instance of the grandma. she was humbled when faced with decease and began to recognize that God’s grace can be extended to anyone – well behaved Christians or inmates. She realizes that she is non any better than the Misfit. and they are considered equal in the eyes of God. Sadly. she realizes what true godly grace is at the decision of her life. despite holding spent decennaries seeking to be a good Christian. True to O’Connor’s Christian background. she demonstrates grace in this short narrative as being offered to everyone. but accepted by few.
Boudreaux. Armond. There Are No Good Men to Find: Two Narratives by Flannery O’Connor. The Explicator 69. 3 2011: 150-152. Heldref Publications. etc. Connor. Flannery. “A Good Man is difficult to Find. ” Collected plants: Wise blood ; A good adult male is difficult to happen ; The violent bear it off ; Everything that rises must meet ; Stories and occasional prose ; Letters. New York: Literary Classicss of the United States. 1988. 137-153. Print. Connor. Flannery. and Sally Fitzgerald. The wont of being: letters of Flannery O’Connor. New York: Farrar. Straus. and Giroux. 1979. Print. Flannery O’Connor. “On Her Own Work. ” in her Mystery and Mannerss: Occasional Prose. edited by Sally Fitzgerald and Robert Fitzgerald. Farrar. Straus and Giroux. 1969. pp. 107-18 Mitchell. Mark T. The Melancholy Tyrant: Democracy and Tyranny in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” . Positions on political scientific discipline 34. 4 01 Oct 2005: 211-216. Heldref Publications. 22 Apr 2013.
Weli. Simone. Gravity and Grace. London: Routledge & A ; Kegan Paul. 1963