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What message is O'Connor delivering in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and what is its...

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peste19 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 13, 2008 at 6:19 AM via web

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What message is O'Connor delivering in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and what is its impact?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 13, 2008 at 2:10 PM (Answer #2)

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There are a few things to take away from this truly amazing story (Flannery O'Connor is one of my top five favorite authors).  One of her common themes in her work, including this story, was the theme of redemption and salvation.  In many of her stories, her characters have their epiphanies when they least expect it, including the grandmother in "A Good Man is Hard to Find."  Not until it is her turn to die does she realize that her beliefs and attitudes have been grossly wrong.  Her epiphany is too late to save her life, however, and she is killed by "The Misfit."  Another message that emerges from this story is the negative effects of prejudice.  The grandmother is very prejudiced throughout the story, but then realizes that she has made a huge mistake by being so, and she realizes she is no different than anyone else on this Earth.  Finally, another message that emerges is the shocking nature of violence.  O'Connor included violence in her stories because she says it was necessary to get the readers' attention (eNotes).

 http://www.enotes.com/good-man/themes

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peste19 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 13, 2008 at 2:38 PM (Answer #3)

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i have to read revelation and another short story of hers, what would you recommend since you say she is one of your favorite authors? and does she deliver the same message through all of her stories? from what i have been reading she has a "rough" criticisim in her work...

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 13, 2008 at 6:44 PM (Answer #4)

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I would recommend reading "Good Country People," too, in addition to "Revelation" and "A Good Man is hard to find.  You'll find this theme of revelation and redemption and epiphany in this story, as well.  Good luck with your O'Connor project! :)

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peste19 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 14, 2008 at 6:39 AM (Answer #5)

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Isnt "Good Country People" where she takes this so call bible salesman to her loft nad he asks her to remove her prosthetic leg, open his suitcase and he had like glass eyes and those sort of things and steal her prosthetic leg?

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cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted June 14, 2008 at 7:24 AM (Answer #6)

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Isnt "Good Country People" where she takes this so call bible salesman to her loft nad he asks her to remove her prosthetic leg, open his suitcase and he had like glass eyes and those sort of things and steal her prosthetic leg?

Yes, your summary is correct. If you'd like to read another O'Connor story, I recommend "Parker's Back," which is about a tattooed man. This story is also about a character's religious experience and revelation, but the characters---O.E. Parker and his wife Sarah Ruth---are truly memorable for their eccentricies. My students always enjoy reading and talking about this one.

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peste19 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 14, 2008 at 8:25 AM (Answer #7)

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so from the stories i read all of her work her message is about redemption and salvation, in other words she shows us the bad among us and to change? for example in Good Country People, she just a hard person with the lack of faith, when the seller steals her wooden leg, he kind of saves her from the lack of faith. to be honest i read this stories but i never get the  "message" from the authors

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 14, 2008 at 5:22 PM (Answer #8)

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O'Connor's message isn't necessarily about how we need to change because we're inherently bad; it is more about how people sometimes experience salvation and redemption (and epiphanies) at the most unexpected times, when the characters would never expect to do so.

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peste19 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 16, 2008 at 3:16 PM (Answer #9)

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On my opionion she doesnt give us the message really clearly, on been looking over her work again and i think she trys to make us look towards religion and to gain faith. In addition she usually shows it with the groteste way, for example for the worst of society she really points out to all defects. 

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 16, 2008 at 7:33 PM (Answer #10)

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Yes, she usually drives home her point with the violence, which, again, is something she uses to gain the readers' attention.  She uses extreme examples to bring her message across.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 23, 2008 at 2:18 PM (Answer #11)

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In "Good Country People" O'Conner is also commenting on condescending attitude.  Had Hulga-Joy not felt she was so above all the ignorant country people, she never would've gotten herself in a situation where she is stuck in a hayloft without her artificial leg.  Acceptance and open-mindedness is a positive quality.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 11, 2011 at 10:49 AM (Answer #12)

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does anything show up

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