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Good Man Is Hard To Find English Literature Essay

1245 words (5 pages) Essay in English Literature

5/12/16 English Literature Reference this

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Each author is entitled to their own views and how they let them influence their writings. O’Connor used her faith and the way she viewed Christianity to permeate her stories and deliver messages she believed to be the most adequate way to steer others of the same or similar faith in the right direction. Her upbringing, her environment, and the way she lived her life had an exponential correlation with her faith and the way she tied it into the short stories mentioned. You dangerously word all the information above this bolded area in such a way that suggests you knew O’Connor. In the bolded area, though, you claim something you cannot know without reading a source, which means you either unintentionally plagiarized or you made a hasty claim. One is illegal, and the other is unethical. Also, remember how we cannot have any source information in our thesis statement, topic sentences, or conclusion. Though some claim that her messages are hard to understand, or may even be misunderstood, her beliefs are still in the writings themselves. Her characters often seem to be lacking in faith, or questioning their faith during the course of each story. The words and lines they speak in each piece of literature all have a religious meaning behind them. Flannery O’Connor expressed religious ideology throughout her short stories “Good Country People” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” You need to say throughout her writing. We can discuss why later.

Need to tie all topic sentences to O’Connor. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the character The Misfit expressed his doubt over the teachings of Jesus and God when discussing with the grandmother. He said things pertaining to the thought of losing his faith after he was incarcerated in the penitentiary (O’Connor, “Good Man” 375-377). He claimed “It was the same case with Him as with me except He hadn’t committed any crime and they could prove that I had committed one…” (O’Connor, “Good Man” 376). He believed that no matter what he did, he would be punished. O’Connor most likely believed that man will always face what he has done once he comes before final judgment. The Misfit references Jesus and the way he threw everything off balance by raising the dead. He claimed that if Jesus really performed this action, then there was no other choice but to follow his words and teachings. The Misfit also suggested that if what is said about Jesus were to be false, then there was nothing else you could do but make the most of your life while you can. His word choice was much more colorful, attributing to his character and the way he lived (O’Connor “Good Man” 375-377). The Misfit’s actions in the story also coincide with the way O’Connor perceived God. She stated of God, “…God is not accepted by men, so they have to be shocked into a recognition of their need for him” (Mayer 5). The choice of words The Misfit uses during his conversing with the grandmother is heavily indicative to the author’s background. Such things are often suggested by those of the Roman Catholic faith, the faith that Flannery O’Connor herself followed proudly and stated many times through interviews (Liukkonen).

Two years after writing “A Good man is Hard to Find,” O’Connor wrote “Good Country People,” expressing her views over the difference in the symbol of the devil and the darkness of life. When she was asked about the relation between the trickster character Manley Pointer, a young man who posed as a bible salesman, and the devil, she responded that his character was expressing the “psychological tendency” (Hawkes 397) I’ve pointed out several times that MLA does not allow for citing in the middle of the text. See Purdue Owl. that we see as the darkness of life. When Pointer first appears in the story, he claims to be a humble servant of Christianity selling bibles that didn’t desire to go to college due to a heart condition. But as the story progresses he tricks Hulga and takes her artificial leg. He even claims that he had done such things several times before in other towns (O’Connor, “Country People” 390-391 Shorten the title and just say “Country” and leave the author and page number. See Purdue Owl.). The trickster persona is often a guise for the devil in many tales and fables throughout Christian teachings. Though one could argue Pointer was a literary embodiment of the devil, Flannery dismissed this idea. Pointer was merely one who preyed on the faithful for his own gain (Hawkes 399). Pointer stated that he had “been believing in nothing ever since I was born” (O’Connor, “Country People” 391). This character embodies the view that those without faith are lost and only looking for personal gain. Hulga’s character in the story was an atheist, much to the dismay of her mother, Mrs. Hopewell. Mrs. Hopewell wasn’t portrayed as a devout Christian, but she did carry the beliefs and morals of the faith. It even stated that her personal bible was possibly in the attic somewhere (O’Connor, “Country People” 383). The belief that seems to be common between the characters in the story “Good Country People” and O’Connor herself is that if you are in fact good country people, then everything will be well and that their lord will judge them kindly when they leave this world. O’Connor used this message because she shared the same belief, coming from the people she lived around and was raised by (Friedman 233).

A writer’s environment and upbringing are always dominant factors in the way they portray characters and situations throughout their works. O’Connor was raised in the “Bible Belt” region of rural Georgia and was the only child of a strongly Roman Catholic family. Her father died of Lupus when she was at a very young age. Over the course of her life, she acquired her education and began writing many southern based stories and pieces such as the two stories already discussed. After she was diagnosed with the same disease that killed her father, she stayed closed to her family home in Milledgeville, GA and continued writing, incorporating her religious beliefs into them with the way Christians should stick to their path. The impending sense of the inevitable strengthened her faith during her later years. Once she passed away in 1964 (“A Study of Flannery O’Connor”), her works and particular writing style were left for everyone to analyze and critique. But the contents of all of her writings still contain messages, morals, and teachings of religious ideology (Abbott 3-8).

Flannery O’Connor used her religious opinions and beliefs in each of her writings. These are proven by the way her characters speak and act in the stories. She used these to guide people and provide them with guidelines for their lives that are indicative of Christians. Her family and society she lived in weighed heavily into her faith and the way she delivered her message. Every author is allowed and encouraged to express their views using their literary works as media. Flannery O’Connor took full advantage of this fact and incorporated her religious beliefs into the short stories “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Good Country People.”

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