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A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories (1955)

de Flannery O'Connor

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3,619842,823 (4.15)234
Flannery O'Connor's vision of life is expressed through grotesque, often comic situations in which the principal character faces a problem of salvation: the grandmother, in the title story, confronting the murderous Misfit; a neglected four-year-old boy looking for the Kingdom of Christ in the fast-flowing waters of the river; General Sash, about to meet the final enemy.… (més)
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Flannery O'Connor is known for writing in Southern Gothic tradition. The subject matter she chooses for this set of short stories falls into the category of grotesque, evil, and unthinkable. The characters express disturbing thoughts, and reading literary analysis helps one understand that many of her stories are supposed to remind us of a Bible or religious lesson. Many messages boil down to good vs. evil or exaggerate sinfulness with the outrageous characters. Flannery exposes the hypocrisies of human beings and enjoys showing how little control people have over their lives. She seems especially fond of showing how supposed intellectuals and wealthier folks have no more control over their fate and safety than those who are "country folks" and less fortunate.

The names are generally symbolic, and colors play an essential role in the descriptions and meanings of the stories. For example, in this set of stories, the word black appears 93 times, red 84 times, and white 76 times. Other colors also describe people, clothing, weather, objects, and scenery. It seems that O'Connor writes with vivid, colorful images to demonstrate how humans operate in concrete and abstract ways.

Racism is a theme in almost every story, and much of the language exposes racism cruelly and offensively. Not only is racism conveyed in the way the characters act, but also xenophobia. Country people fear those in the cities and vice versa. Additionally, characters express outright hostility toward anybody different from themselves. Nevertheless, O'Connor's eloquent writing demonstrates a range of human foibles and limitations to readers willing to see beyond the stereotypic characters. See my reviews at https://quipsandquotes.net/ ( )
  LindaLoretz | Feb 13, 2022 |
See above. ( )
  CodyMaxwellBooks | Oct 30, 2021 |
O'Connor is a master of the short story but I find the South she writes about to so dark and creepy. ( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
2.5
Wise Blood was great. This had some good stories (in my opinion) but others were so so. ( )
  jaydenmccomiskie | Sep 27, 2021 |
These ten short stories by a master of the form explore human nature through her characters and their interactions, often with an unsettling ending.

Unsettling is, in fact, a pretty good term for the whole of the book. As many who have gone before me have observed and probably stated more eloquently than me, O'Connor's work is informed by her Catholic faith, and certainly none of her characters come out looking particularly "good" in the end. The ones we're supposedly rooting for often turn out to be unlovely or unjust. If there are Black characters, they are the objects of racism or stereotypes such as the "lazy" farm workers. But also, the stories are well-crafted, perfect encapsulated in the length they are (usually about 20-30 pages, though the last one is longer), and generally left me wanting to look up literary criticism on them because I could tell there were symbols and meaning I'd missed on the first read through. ( )
  bell7 | Aug 15, 2021 |
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She would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.
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Flannery O'Connor's vision of life is expressed through grotesque, often comic situations in which the principal character faces a problem of salvation: the grandmother, in the title story, confronting the murderous Misfit; a neglected four-year-old boy looking for the Kingdom of Christ in the fast-flowing waters of the river; General Sash, about to meet the final enemy.

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