Summary and Critique of Two Articles on O Connor s A Good Man is Difficult to Find Essay

Summary and Critique of Two Articles on O Connor s A Good Man is Difficult to Find


The article Flannery O Connor s A Good Man is Difficult to Find: The Moment of Grace by Michael Clark focuses on the flood tide of the narrative: the Grandmother s concluding act, her touching of the misfit, and its spiritual and realistic deductions. Clark inquiries her last gesture by inquiring,

Should the Grandmother s concluding act & # 8211 ; her touching of the misfit be taken as a item of true, godly grace and religious penetration? Or should the narrative be interpreted purely as a realistic

papers? ( 1 ) O Connor refers to the Grandmother s concluding gesture as a minute of grace. Sloan states that many critics tend to differ with O Connor s belief that the concluding act was a minute of grace ; instead they prefer to emphasize the realistic account of grace, a more realistic grace. Stanley Renner is besides uncomfortable with the spiritual account of the flood tide ; he describes the concluding gesture as, a obscure touch, a parental approval, or the ceremonial dubbing of knighthood ( Clark 1 ) . Harmonizing to Clark this account sees the Grandmother s response as one that non so much reflects godly grace as it touches her natural springs of understanding and human affinity ( Clark 1 ) . Other critics interpret the Grandmother s concluding act as showing her concluding hope that her noblenesse can change her destiny ( Clark 1 ) . Clark believes this peculiar reading gives the concluding gesture a selfish, mundane, and unredeeming sense about it. The inquiry of whether O Connor s reading should be judged as right or incorrect emerges. Clark believes the old pronouncement of trust the narrative non the Teller applies. He besides believes you must see the narratives connexion with the books of 1st and 2nd Timothy of the Bible.

Hallman Bryant, in an article written before Clark s, noted that there is no Timothy, Georgia, and persuasively argues that O Connor is mentioning to the book of Timothy in the New Testament of the bible. Bryant points out that 2nd Timothy can assist explicate the Southern Cross of the narrative, it provides a subtext for the cardinal and debatable episode in O Connor s narrative, the grandma s minute of grace ( Clark 2 ) 2nd Timothy besides stresses that true grace is associated with the tradition of the puting on of custodies. Clark believes that the Grandmother is immolating Paul s action in 2nd Timothy in the touching of the misfit. Both events emphasize the grace which accompanies magnetic physical contact ( Clark 2 ) Clark suggests that all critics must admit and account for O Connor s scriptural allusions, every bit good as the fact that all human existences, even the smug grandma, have the possible to see epiphanies that could salvage them from the rancid and life-denying limitations that human existences may labour under. These are minutes that historically we have come to specify as spiritual.

The article O Connor s A Good Man is Difficult to Find by Gary Sloan focuses on the character of the Misfit, chiefly concentrating on how his mental capablenesss and spiritual beliefs impact his behaviour. Sloan openly agrees that the misfit is the bad seed in the narrative, and although grounds of the Misfit s rational ability is non readily available, he is still pictured as a adult male of great mental acumen and of no average humor. O connor herself provinces, the grandma s marbless are no lucifer for the Misfits ( Sloan 1 ) Sloan besides believes his incredulity had been greatly overdone, belief is his dominant cistron, uncertainty recessive, about nothing. He acknowledges the marvelous efficaciousness of supplication while disavowing and desire for it ( 1 ) The misfit believes in God, his construct is based on divinity coming from charming efforts. He thinks the Southern Cross of faith is whether or non what is dead corsets that manner. Sloan suggests what impresses him about Jesus Christ is that he reportedly could raise the dead ( 2 ) The Misfit ulterior contradicts himself by stating Jesus shouldn T have raised the dead because it threw everything off balance. Sloan says he uses this to warrant his criminalism and if he merely knew for certain whether or non he raised the dead he wouldn t be the manner he is. He wants to cont inue in his life as it is without fright of requital for his actions. O Connor characterized the shot of the grandma as a kick, a horror at her humaneness ( Sloan 2 ) . Sloan believes he may besides be flinching from his ain humaneness. The slaying is possibly vicarious effort at self-slaughter: He seeks to destruct his irresistible impulse to believe because, in his moral calculations, belief can non be squared with pleasance ( Sloan 2 ) Sloan suggests that although the grandma is at the dramatic centre of the narrative it is the misfit who changes her mentality on life and forces her to believe, and due to her connexion with the misfit she dies redeemed. Sloan provinces, treated as a accelerator for the grandma s epiphany, the Misfit is a fruitful device ( Sloan 2 ) Sloan concludes by saying, the Misfit s whining bewilderment, excuse, and skewed moralss betray a addled mind and, worse, a unsafe one ( Sloan 2 ) Michael Clarke s article Flannery O Connor s A Good Man is Difficult to Find: The Moment of Grace inquiries the narrative s flood tide, and whether or non it was a sincere minute of grace.

Clarke and the many critics included in his article tend to travel against O Connor s belief that the flood tide was a sincere minute of grace, and prefer the realistic realistic account of grace. I agree with Clark and the other critics in traveling against O Connor s belief. However, I think the best critic reading in the article of the concluding gesture is ; her concluding act was merely portion of a despairing hope that her nobility could alter her destiny. I disagree with Clark and the other critics who read more into it than that. I besides disagree with the presentation of the thought that the epiphany was this great religious waking up of the grandma, I think the epiphany was superficial and merely another portion of her despairing effort alter her at hand death.

However, I agree with Clark s suggestions that O Connor uses scriptural allusions in the authorship of the narrative. Sing the fact that Timothy, Georgia does non be it makes a batch of sense that she came up with the name of this town based on the book in the New Testament. I disagree with Sloan s belief that the touch of the grandma upon the misfit replicates Paul s laying of custodies on Timothy in the New Testament. I find it a alone happenstance, but I see no solid grounds to back up a reproduction of Paul s act. I like the manner Clark broke down the flood tide and looked at it from more than one position. Again, I think the most solid point of the article was the point of the critics who believed the grandma s concluding act was non a sincere minute of grace, alternatively merely a despairing effort to protract her life and possibly change her glooming destiny. Gary Sloan s article O Connor s A Good Man is Difficult to Find focal points entirely on the character of the Misfit from his mental capablenesss to his spiritual beliefs and his manner of life. Sloan looks at the Misfit as a really mentally capable adult male of no average humor. I don t needfully disagree with the position of the Misfit as a mentally capable adult male despite a deficiency of grounds in the narrative.

However, I strongly disagree with Sloan s belief the Misfit was of no average humor. He killed five people that we know of in cold blood and likely more, and yet he does non look at all contrite. I think Sloan presents a strong review throughout the remainder of his article. I besides believe that the Misfit believes in Jesus and he is evidently fascinated with Jesus ability to raise the dead. I think Sloan makes a great point in stating that the Misfit uses the fact that he is diffident of whether or non Jesus really raised the dead to warrant his hard-boiled criminalism. Sloan besides makes a strong point in stating that the Misfit wants to go on his life of criminalism without holding to pay for his actions. I besides think Sloan makes a strong point in stating that the grandma s humane concluding supplication was get downing to acquire to the Misfit, and the shot of her was a kick, a horror at her humaneness. Finally, although I don t think the grandma s epiphany was a sincere spiritual, grace filled happening, I do hold that the Misfit was the accelerator for the flood tide of the narrative, the grandma s concluding act.