Posted: February 15th, 2023
Flannery O’Connor’s two quotes can be applied to her short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” in various ways. Firstly, the theme of the story revolves around how people often ignore or are unwilling to accept difficult truths about their lives and the world around them. This is especially true for its main character, the grandmother, who refuses to believe that a serial killer known as The Misfit exists until it is too late. In this way, O’Connor’s quote “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it” aptly describes how nobody can escape from reality no matter how much they deny it.
The second quote by O’Connor, “It is the extreme situation that best reveals who we are essentially” also applies directly to “A Good Man is Hard To Find”. By taking her family on a road trip through rural Georgia, despite warnings of danger from The Misfit being loose in the area, the grandmother finds herself in an unusual and dangerous situation which brings out her true nature more than ever before. Throughout the story she has been portrayed as an arrogant and controlling figure with little regard for anyone else but herself; however when presented with an extreme life-or-death scenario she quickly reverts back into a frightened old woman with only one thought – saving herself at all costs. Her willingness to sacrifice her own grandchildren rather than face death head-on demonstrates just how selfish she truly is and serves as another example of O’Connor’s assertion that desperate situations allow us see ourselves for what we really are deep down inside.
In conclusion Flannery O’Connor’s two quotes have direct relevance to her short story “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”, both highlighting themes explored throughout its narrative – namely that truth cannot be denied no matter what and that extraordinary circumstances bring out hidden parts of our personalities which normally remain buried beneath everyday existence.
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