Upon in-depth analysis, it becomes evident that in Flannery O'Connor's works, arrogant, conceited, egotistical and overly prideful characters receive the unbearable manifestation of their own shallow, petty and superficial selves. O'Connor's characters are tragically unaware of their own egoism. The characters' excessive pride blinds them to their own flaws. When characters finally acquire some level of rationality, it is always at the cost of the life of someone else; hence death becomes a manifestation of their ruthless ego. It seems that O'Connor goes beyond good and evil and leaves definition of these terms as an open question.
Manicheans/Dualists believe that good and evil are the two primary forces existing in the universe; Christians believe there is only good and all evil is a perversion of good; O'Connor's stories exemplify that individual evil arises due to egoism and lack of self-analysis. For example, the grandmother in A Good Man is Hard to Find is very deceptive and untruthful to her own family due to her selfish desire to see a house that she had seen in her youth.
"There was a secret panel in this house," she said craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were, "and the story went that all the family silver was hidden in it when Sherman came through but it was never found . . ."
She diverted the family's attention from their objectives and took advantage of her own grandchildren in order to get some petty satisfaction. Even worse, it ended up getting the entire family killed. Just because she was 'wishing' that she told the truth doesn't make the fact that she lied any less deceitful. A careful look at Everything That Rises Must Converge, reveals quite a few examples of egoistic traits, something that both Julian (the son) and his...