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Stephen Bandy basically disagrees with Flannery O'Connor's explanation of her own short story. He agrees with D. H. Lawrence who says we should "trust the art but not the artist." He believes that in spite of what O'Connor says about the message of Christian grace, there IS no redeeming grace for any of the characters in this short story. He says that while the story's themes center on the Christian view of faith, death and salvation, the story's message is pessimistic and "subversive" to the message of Christianity. He says the story speaks for itself and that the author should not speak for the story.
Flannery O'Connor has remarked that she was always surprised when people told her the grandmother in the story was evil. It was her intent to show that the grandmother was able to exhibit grace at the end of the story. Most people that read the story miss this.
The "art" of this story is the fact that it is so deep that it inspires lots of great discussions.
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