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Christian Views in a Good Man Is Hard to Find

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Christian Views in a Good Man Is Hard to Find

Christian Views in A Good Man is Hard to Find

Flannery O’Connor wrote thirty short stories and two novels in her short thirty-nine year life. They all have one thing in common; they all have huge Christian influence. In every one of her works, she used her faith as a Roman Catholic to dictate her plots and characters. This is relevant to her short story A Good Man is hard to Find, this story is oozing with Christian themes and symbolism.

The characters in this story is a family of five, Bailey is the father, John Wesley is the son, June Star is the little girl, the mother is never named, and neither is the Grandmother, Bailey’s mother, the family also has a baby which is never named. The other major character in this story is The Misfit; his real name was never given: he just calls himself by that title. He was a convict who had recently escaped from a federal penitentiary and was last seen heading towards Florida, the same place that the family was heading. There were also were minor characters too, they include Red Sammy and his wife, and The Misfit’s two cronies, Hiram and Bobby Lee. The main characters are the family and The Misfit thou, these minor characters just help move the plot along.

The plot is very simple really. The story starts of in the family’s home in Georgia. They were all sitting around casually, fir the most part. The grandmother was trying to convince her son, Bailey that they should go to east Tennessee for their vacation instead of Florida. But the family does not really care that she wants to go to Tennessee and they shrug her off and go to Florida instead. Along the way they make one stop, and a restaurant/truck stop owned by a man named Red Sammy. He and the grandmother really get along well for a while, and then they leave. As they continue going the grandmother remembers an old plantation that she once visited when she was a young girl, she wants to stop to see its marvelous architecture. Finally Bailey agrees to drive by it when she gets his children interested the house because it has a secret panel. Then they turn onto a little dirt road. Through a sequence of comical events they end up in an accident. Their car flips over and they are stranded, until someone comes to help, except a prison escapee by the name of The Misfit. The Misfit and his cronies proceed in killing them all.

A Good Man is Hard to Find is found in a set of ten short stories. These ten stores are viewed my many as her most famous works, and they are most likely what she will be remembered most for.

“O’Connor begins these short stories with a prefix from an epigraph of St. Cyril of Jerusalem: The Dragon is on the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the Dragon.”

This epigraph can be applied to most of her short stories, especially the ones in this book, and all her short stories seem to follow with a Christian theme. It can be applied directly to this story as The Misfit being portrayed as The Devil, or dragon he is waiting on the side of the road, waiting for some one to fall of the path on their way to the Father of Souls.( Drake)

The entire family in this story, excluding the Grandmother and the youngest infant child are portrayed as obnoxious, while the Grandmother is portrayed as ladylike and gentle.(Scouten) No one in this story seems to care what the Grandmother wants, especially the two oldest children, June Star and John Wesley. They shrug her off, and often times are just plain disrespectful to her. The Grandmother seems to value the finer things in life; she is very formal by today’s standards. She got dressed up for their trip in the car for example, and she valued the past, especially her past. She also valued great architecture.

As stated above, the epigraph can be directly applied to this story in particular. As the family was on their way to The Father of Souls, or in this case the destination in Florida which is unnamed, one small temptation threw them off the path, the children wanted to see the house with the hidden panel.(Drake) When they went off of the beaten path, they turned onto a dirt road with sharp curves and deep embankments, which foreshadowed something bad was going to happen.

When they crashed, the children were excited; this could symbolize how people who are being led on the path to damnation are totally blind to that fact. Then when someone does come to “help” it is The Misfit. It is ironic that the Misfit is the one

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