The most apparent similarity between the two authors is that they wrote in what is called the "southern gothic" genre. These kinds of stories are set in the American South and usually deal with how the past specifics of the culture there (slavery, antebellum culture, racism, social roles of women,...
The most apparent similarity between the two authors is that they wrote in what is called the "southern gothic" genre. These kinds of stories are set in the American South and usually deal with how the past specifics of the culture there (slavery, antebellum culture, racism, social roles of women, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the tension between different social classes, etc.) continue to affect the modern world.
The lingering effects of the south's past appear in both Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find," for instance. Both Emily and the grandmother are relics of a racist, class-obsessed past. They are out of step with the modern world. They look back on the pre-Civil War period as a golden age: Emily refuses to pay taxes and keeps her house as it was long ago, while the grandmother longingly refers to the south's past as "gone with the wind," in reference to the popular novel which romanticized the antebellum south's social mores, from slavery to rigid class differences.
One major difference between O'Connor and Faulkner is their religious perspectives. Faulkner is largely uninterested in spirituality or organized religion in his stories (though he did marry his wife in a Presbyterian church). O'Connor, on the other hand, was a devout Catholic, and this element of her life certainly impacts her work. The theme of grace appearing to the least likely people reoccurs throughout her work, where even the most unlovable people, from the snobby, racist grandmother in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" to the faux-nihilists Hulga in "Good Country People" and Hazel Motes in Wise Blood, have their lives touched by a compassionate, forgiving God.
Once again, examine "A Rose for Emily" and "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Emily dies unredeemed: she clings to the old ways and seems to never regret killing Homer. Religion never enters into the equation, though presumably Emily is buried with religious rites intact since that is most socially acceptable. The grandmother dies right after she tries reaching out to the Misfit, no longer seeing him as riff-raff beneath her but an equally beloved child of God in pain.