ENC 1101 H
December 4, 2002
In an instant, the gruesome September 11th terrorist attack placed ordinary people trapped on the upper floors of the World Trade Center at the edge of eternity. Some of them made the choice to join hands and leap to their certain death from the upper floors of the twin towering infernos. Perhaps it is at this moment that these people made contact with mystery. Flannery O'connor explores this mystery in her brutal short story A Good Man Is Hard To Find, where vicious killers destroy an entire family for no particular reason other than meanness. It is difficult to find any redeeming social value in the work; however, O'Connor is primarily concerned with just that: redemption and social value.
O'Conner (1925-1964), the only child of Roman Catholic parents, was a devout Roman Catholic who was uncompromising in her religious views and was recognized as one of the great religious writers of her time.
She stated: "For I am no disbeliever in spiritual purpose and no vague believer. This means that for me the meaning of life is centered in our redemption by Christ and what I see the world in relation to that."(1116). Her parable attests poignantly to her worldview and eloquently directs the reader's attention towards the mystery.
O'Connor takes the most ordinary characters in the most commonplace situation, and interjects the most horrible of fates. It is a story about a family from Georgia, consisting of two children, mother, father, and grandmother, who brings along her cat. They are on vacation, driving to Florida. The grandmother, the central character of the story, is a bitter, close-minded old woman who does not desire to go to Florida, but rather Tennessee. The grandmother is representative of godliness and Christianity. O'Connor apparently believed...