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Flannery O'Connor

In the short fiction “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” and “Revelation” we see a common parallel between two of the main characters and the underlying theme of each. In a “Good Man Is Hard To Find” the grandmother represents the dying culture and beliefs of the post-Civil War South. She is responsible for the deaths of her family because she refuses to change. In fact, her beliefs are superficial and of a previous era, to the point where even is she were involved in an accident all passersby would still know she were a lady, “In the case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady,” (O’Connor 118). The plot and action underlie O’Connor’s concern that refined Christian values, one she obviously believed to a higher degree in the South, were not being readily adopted in her time. We see this by the grandmother’s children and grandchildren who basically are fairly rude in their responses toward her-basically a symbol that future generations will become even more chaotic and lacking “Christian” values.

The plot and action of “Revelation” also serve to underscore the theme that the genteel manners and lady/gentlemen demeanor of the Old South would not survive in a society that was becoming ever more brutal and ugly. Mrs. Turpin is similar to the grandmother in that she can not accept “white trash” or “niggers” on a level with good-blooded Southern gentlemen and ladies. Like the grandmother she refuses to accept that there is a harsh, brutal society within which she operates that will not allow her to keep up such foolish and outright prejudiced notions. Like the grandmother cannot accept that the Misfit is not good-“I know you’re a good man…You’re a good man. You don’t look a bit like you have common blood,”-so Mrs. Turpin cannot not face the fact that her perceived, benevolent


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Flannery O'Connor. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:07, March 26, 2019, from