“The Aesthetics of Incongruity”
Although Flannery O'Connor's “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” is not her best story, it is the story that does the most. After one reads it, they know enough about her to recognize the comedy, violence, and theological concern. According to Frederick Asals, who critiqued this short story, “...the primordial appeal of the story, for “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” captures a very old truth, that in the midst of life we are in death, in its most compelling modern form.” This is very true. Death will choose its victims without anytime of warning or remorse. It doesn't necessarily have a particular motivation to it. Some of our most compelling fears are at the very basis of this story. To some people, death is an extreme nightmare and this story touches that in a shocking way. O'Connor, however, tries to eliminate this with humor and bringing in spiritual implications. There are moments where we do not have control. Stuff is going to happen to people and there is nothing anyone can do. There are some questions we are not ready to answer until it's too late. We basically live to die. The grandmother in this story gestures her faith at the end to try and possibly save herself.
All the spirituality is all great, but it is almost impossible for the reader to throw away what they already have in their minds concerning the dead bodies. The story is way more than a family being murdered on a vacation trip. Asals states that, “Any full discussion of the story must deal with both the grandmother's soul and the dead bodies, and indeed with the tension between the two levels implied here, for that tension is at the very heart of the story.” The Misfit, which is the murderer in the story, partakes on the story's most used passage from Flannery's fiction:
“Jesus was the only One ever raised the dead,” The Misfit continued, “and
He shouldn't have done it. He thown everything off balance. If He did what
He said, then it's nothing for you to...
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