Brutality, humor, religion, and violence are a few themes portrayed throughout many of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories. In many of her short stories, O’Connor exposes the dark side of human nature and implements violent and brutal elements in order to emphasize her religious viewpoints. In the short stores “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and “Revelation”, O’Connor explicitly depicts this violence to highlight the presence and action of holy grace that is given to a protagonist who exudes hypocritical qualities.
During the family trip in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” to Georgia, the grandmother attempts to exude a lady-like facade. The grandmother wears “white cotton gloves…a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets … a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print. Her collar and cuffs were white organdy…In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady”(O’Connor 450). Despite trying to appear prim and proper, the grandmother’s pretensions and superficiality become lucid through her hypocritical nature. When June Star pointed to a pant less black child, the grandma feel no sympathy and responds by saying, “Little niggers in the country don’t have things like we do. If I could paint, I’d paint that picture” (O’Connor 450). Her claims to be a lady cannot be justified with her racist and hypocritical actions. In addition, the selfish desire of the grandma to make a detour and her decision to bring the cat leads the family to wreck the vehicle and to be found by the Misfit. Before the accident and ensuing massacre occurred, the grandma was completely condescending, hypocritical, and complacent in her own world where she feels safe. The final confrontation bet…
…, and this allows her to make this revelation.
The parallels between “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and “Revelation” both demonstrate that O’Connor’s use of violence resulted in the protagonist to acquire divine redemption. The grandmother acquired redemption when the Misfit used violence; similarly, Mrs. Turpin got a revelation when Mary Grace used physical and verbal violence onto her. Her use of violence can be related back to the reader by emphasizing the greatness and necessity of God and trying to convert some of her secular audience to Catholicism.
O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 9th ed. New York: Bedford, 2011. 449-459. Print.
O’Connor Flanner. “Revelation.” The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 9thed. New York: Bedford, 2011. 474-488. Print.