A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

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What is one of the conflicts in "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," and how is this conflict resolved?

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One of the central conflicts in Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find (1953)” is between the grandmother’s convenient perception of Christian grace and the demanding way in which grace actually operates. In Flannery O’Connor’s fiction, grace never comes sweetly or easily; neither can it be brought about only by rituals, such as singing Gospel songs and attending Sunday mass regularly. Grace is often terrifying and tests you beyond your imagination. “I have found that violence is strangely capable of returning my characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace,” O’Connor said of “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” She was also of the opinion that “All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.”

O’Connor’s worldview of suffering as a trigger for grace was no doubt influenced by her own devout Catholic faith and her physical difficulties. Confined to her home since the age...

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