Use Of Religion In A Good Man Is Hard To Find By Flannery O Connor

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Religion is a pervasive theme in many of the works of Flannery O’Connor, in one of her works A Good Man is Hard to Find there is a present dialect between the characters about religion itself. This stark vision of O’Conner’s can be viewed as the clash between traditional
Christian values and the ever-changing secular world. In her story, the presence of a Christian’s more secular actions can be seen. O’Conner’s use of the title and characters is an imagery of the battleground she feels faces the Christian in everyday life. It is possible that O’Connor meant for the grandmother and the Misfit to represent what sinful nature looks like in physical form because through their actions there is evidence of who Christians are to be.
O’Conner’s use
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Her purpose for dressing so nice for the ride was that in the event of an accident, “anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady” (307). She tells the children “In my time, children were more respectful of their parents and everything else. People did right then.” (308). Her lack of proper judgment flows throughout

Samuelson 2 the story as she creates the scenario where the family finds themselves wrecked and facing the
Misfit. Upon meeting him are the first signs of her Christian view. She asks the Misfit, “Do you ever pray?” (315), and she begins to speak about her Christian views as if to pull it out when she needs it.
The Misfit’s use of character takes an opposite look at how sinful nature makes its presence in the world. Upon meeting the Misfit, it is clear that he is not without a human and polite element to him. While the grandmother chooses to look past many of her flaws; the Misfit takes deep looks inside of him and reflects on his errors. He states, “I ain’t a good man.” (314).
Thinking back to his childhood he reflects, “I never was a bad boy that I can remember of”
(315). The grandmother claims that he is not a bit common, seeming to take to her social
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The Misfit had the desire to know who God is when he claimed, “if I had been there I would of known and I wouldn’t be like I am now.” (317). God almost seems to speak through the grandmother immediately after the admittance and reaches out to say, “you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children!” (317). The two

Samuelson 3 experience grace at this point. The grandmother quits trying to reach towards this end or that end and just understands that all that matters is to love your neighbor as yourself in this world. The
Misfit understands that he has a desire to know God with all his heart, mind and soul. This would take him to a place where his punishment for his sinful nature on this earth will never catch up to him with God.
The vision of O’Conner to use these two characters to bring religion to the surface is impressive. Through them there is a clear picture of how sinful nature can find its way into the world and how grace is there to get rid of the wrongs. While the secular world changes overtime, the Christian values that are understood do not. Humans fall short of the glory of God and their punishment should fit the crime. Yet, through Christ, there is a grace that surpasses

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