Divine Grace in a Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

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Paden Harvey
November 16, 2012
Dr. Jason Horn
English 1101
Divine Grace In “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”
Divine Grace is a theory much associated with Christianity. It is known as when the imperfect are made perfect. It isn’t just for people, but also for actions. O’Connor’s works are much known for having very many religious themes and overtones in them. This is very understandable since she grew up in Georgia in the 1920’s and 30’s. Many people and critics do not understand why O’Connor’s works were so violent, with her being such a religious woman. She has explained that the reason she uses such violence in her works is to prove that even the most ignorant of people, like the grandmother in this story, can be shown that they need to accept their time of grace.

The grandmother in the story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a very controlling manipulative lady. She makes herself out to be better than everyone else by claiming to be a “lady.” She also acts like she is above everyone else because she has old south manners. O’Connor displays this in the grandmother’s actions and her dialogues. One early example of this is when they first get in the car and John Wesley exclaims how he Harvey2.

would like to get through Georgia fast so he will not have to look at much of it, the grandmother replies with “In my time, children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else. People did right then." This proves her old southern ways and view on things early on.

The grandmother’s way of religion is also very prominent in this story. She always talks about praying and the bible. This theme is what leads to showing her time of “divine grace” in the end of this story. The end of this story comes when the family comes into contact with the Misfit. After the Misfit has killed the rest of her family she starts to show her true colors of religion and southern ways. She begins to say things like “you wouldn’t shoot a lady would you”...
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