Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
A Georgia native and devout Roman Catholic, Flannery O’Connor was first viewed somewhat narrowly as an important regional writer identified with the Southern gothic style. However, she is increasingly seen by twenty-first century critics as one of the most significant American fiction writers of the last century and a master of short fiction. Her writing is distinguished by a striking mix of humor, violence, and religious themes. The humor often results from the unexpected context of the violence, the violence shocks the characters into self-awareness, and the religious themes center on the grace offered through self-awareness. O’Connor’s stories often end with either the death or the humiliation of her protagonists, so it may seem ironic that her theme is one of optimism and hope. For O’Connor, however, the highest value is the acceptance of grace, and her characters often do not recognize grace, much less feel the need of it, until their lives are threatened.
The collection A Good Man Is Hard to Find, and Other Stories contains ten stories, three of which—“Good Country People,” “The Displaced Person,” and “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”—are often anthologized and are among O’Connor’s best.
“Good Country People” is typical of O’Connor’s fiction in several ways. All the characters are flawed and generally unappealing. Mrs. Hopewell speaks in clichés and, as her name implies, maintains a shallowly...
(The entire section is 1418 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of A Good Man Is Hard to Find, and Other Stories Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!