O Connor Present Her Mother's Relationship In A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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Flannery O’Connor and her mother had a stereotypical mother/daughter teenage relationship. It’s easy to picture in our minds; the mom yelling at the daughter, telling her what she needs to do better, the daughter snarling back with an “I hate you.” While this may be a dramatization of their relationship, O’Connor’s relationship with her mother is embodied in her characters in all of her works. In the story, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” the characters of the Misfit and the grandmother portray O’Connor’s relationship with her mother and their conflicting personalities and values associated with family and O’Connor’s writing styles. O’Connor used her works as an outlet when dealing with her mother because she was stuck with her often. The characters …show more content…
In her story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” O’Connor writes of two conflicting characters: the Misfit and the grandmother. The grandmother is very old fashioned; she misses the good old days and has many selfish tendencies. The Misfit is an outcast, accused of crimes he can’t remember, hardened by the way the world has treated him. O’Connor’s mother, “...possessed a commanding presence. Proud of her patrician family and immensely self-assured…” (Rueman 1). Regina O’Connor was a powerful and dominating woman, much like the grandmother in O’Connor’s story. Her goal was to incorporate the conflicts with her mother into her writing. For example, the first line of the story reads “The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connection in east Tennessee…” (O’Connor 1). Right from the start, the grandmother shares similarities with Regina; she puts her agenda before others and wants to talk to her type of people. In contrast, the character of the Misfit embodies O’Connor’s trials. The Misfit says, “‘I don’t want no help...I’m going all right by myself” (O’Connor 12). Flannery O’Connor felt the same way. It was frustrating for her to have to depend on someone to help take care of her, and to be so confined by her illness. O’Connor missed out on many experiences because she was stuck inside, being driven crazy by her mother. All the time …show more content…
It was impossible for O’Connor to write without influence from her mother because they spent so much time together, but many times the two disagreed. O’Connor mentions multiple times that her mother didn’t like her style of writing or the topics she used. Author Ann Rueman writes, “Yet, while she praised what was already publicly acclaimed, O’Connor’s mother worked just as hard to repress the socially unacceptable in her daughter’s writing…” (2). While Regina realized that her daughter was being recognized for her works, she felt that she should write something more tasteful, a novel that the local people would enjoy and not be offended by. But writing style was not the only thing the two argued about. Regina was all about appearances and the judgement of others. She disapproved of the way Flannery talked and dressed. O’Connor’s mother once told her, “‘You talk just like a nigger and someday you are going to be away from home and do it and people are going to wonder WHERE YOU CAME FROM’” (Rueman 2). Public image and heritage were at the top of the list of importance, and Flannery didn’t really care about either. She was her own person, and her conflicts of opinion with her mother played into much of her

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