Mahatma Gandhi once stated, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” The quote is referring that most Christians do not follow the steps of Christ. Most Christians are viewed only as, “Sunday Christians” who follow their own beliefs. Faith is a major attribute to being Christian, and most never realize that it is missing until it is too late. In Flannery O’ Connor’s, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” O’Connor utilizes religious aspects to tie in her views on Christian beliefs and her confusion about her religion in her life through the Grandmother’s eyes.
To start, in order for the reader to understand the writing and views of Flannery O’Connor, it is vital to know a history and background on which she came from. O’Connor was born in the early 1920s, in Georgia, which means she is from the south. The author has long and strong roots of Catholicism, in which her stories brew from and create a sense of background of most of her stories. In her family, there was death of a parent that possibly could have destroyed her faith in her religion. When her father died of lupus, one could see the anger at a persons belief in God for taking someone away that was so close. A reader could suggest that her father’s death could be the reason behind her stories religious outcries towards Christianity. Living in the south, O’Connor was one of the many women attending college. She attended a school in Georgia for writing, which later proves her sensational views of literature. People remember O’Connor having dark humor, which could be described as many of literature writers in that era. Many literature writers hide real meaning behind their text for a reader to reveal in the end. Unfortunately, O’Connor suffered the same faith as her father throughout her life and later died of Lupus at the age of 39.
Moreover, during the period of time that Flannery O’Connor was creating her literature, there were historical backgrounds that possibly could have tied into her writing. As noted, O’Connor is from the south, which at the time could mean numerous events happening. According to Sarah Gordon, her stories “were written in a time of great social time in the South”(Godon). What a reader could find of the historical background is that during that time in the south church and religion was a major factor in southern living. Baptist was and still is one of the leading beliefs down in the south. The strong religious viewing in that time is a fuel to the ideas of O’Connor’s literature and possibly imitating the “false beliefs” of those of that time.
To a change a topic, the stories that O’Connor writes all come together to make an everlasting idea of her Catholicism and beliefs in religion. Most of O’Connor’s stories have relevance to some sort of religion to give a background to the real reason of her stories. One could feel as if O’Connor is giving messages to the reader through religious sayings or religious prospects. For example, the characters names are religiously named to coincide with the message that is trying to be given. The irony in the names are hints to the reader of the incorporeal standings. In other words, in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” one of the characters, John Wesley, has religous background to his name. According to Wesley Center Online, “John Wesley was an 18th century Anglican evangelist and founder of the Wesleyan Tradition”(Wesley). That meaning that O’Connor was hinting to the reader of the religious background of her story. O’Connor is getting across. Alternately, contradictions between good versus evil could also portray a character’s perception of heaven and hell to the reader. The reader could propose the idea of a clash of two forces conflicting each other in most of the religiously purposed stories O’Connor writes.
Being that religion reflects most of O’Connor’s stories, most of the protagonist rebel against the idea of religious beliefs. For...