Flannery O’connor Flannery OConnor and the Relationship Between Two of Her Stories Author, Flannery OConnor was born Mary Flannery OConnor on March 25, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia, as the only child to Edward F. OConnor, Jr., and Regina (Cline) OConnor. Later in 1941, Flannery OConnors father dies of lupus while OConnor is in Milledgeville, Ga. After her fathers death, OConnor rarely speaks of him and continues to be active in school projects such as drawing, reading, writing, and playing instraments. Further, in the summer of 1942, OConnor graduates and enters Georgia State College for Women as a sociology and English major.
Moreover, OConnor took on the name Flannery OConnor, dropping Mary from her signature. When OConnor graduates from college, she leaves for Iowa City and applies for several college teaching positions while attending the University of Iowa. Thus, she receives her Masters of Fine Arts in 1947. Although her first story, The Geranium was publised in Accent, during the summer of 1946, it was only the beginning of many of her works to be published. Like her father, OConnor was living with lupus and her first major attack came in December, 1950.
However, OConnor did not allow the disease to keep her from writing and getting her works published. In fact, she got her nineth story , A Good Man Is Hard to Find published. Also, OConnor has won many prizes and awards with her writings over the years. For instance, she was named the Honorary Doctor of Letters by institutions, was the first prize of the O. Henry award in 1957 and 1963 and had previously won second in 1954 and 1955.
Moreover, OConnor died on August 3, 1964 I a Milledgeville hospital. Nevertheless, her stories continued to reign as award winners and are still chosen often to be read by college instructors and their students. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Good Country People are two of many short stories by Flannery OConnor. In addition, the two stories enfold a mystery ending in catastrophe.
OConnor uses plenty of irony or subtle kind of sarcasm in developing each of the stories. Coincidentally, A Good Man Is Hard To Find and Good Country People are both set in the South during the earlier years, when segregation was an issue and trust was not. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Good Country People are two ironically twisted tales of how two different families lives are altered after trusting and being mislead by a stranger. In A Good Man Is Hard to Find, OConnor introduces a family whose lives ironically turn up side down while on a trip to Florida.
For instance, before leaving on the trip, the grandmother (who wants to go to Tennessee in stead of Florida) tells her son, Bailey, about the newspaper article. Thus, the article states that a prisoner escapes to Florida and calls himself the misfit. However, her son basically ignores her and they end up taking the trip to Florida regardless of the warning. Also, the grandmother takes her cat, Pitty Sing, along on the trip in order to prevent any mishaps by leaving her behind.
In addition, the grandmother wears a pin so that if she dies in an accident anyone who finds her, knows that she is a woman. Moreover, she points out several different sights on her way to Florida. Most significantly, she says, Look at that graveyard (OConnor 139)! With a twist the family decides to take a detour on a dirt road in Georgia with the intentions of visiting an old plantation. Unfortunately, this frightens Pitty Sing and she springs onto Baileys shoulder while he is driving.
As a result, this causes an accident. The horrible thought that she [ the grandmother] was having before the accident was that the house she had remembered so vividly was not in Georgia but in Tennessee ( 145). Minutes later, the grandmother flagged down a big black hearse-like car with three men inside. Youre The Misfit I recognized you at once, says the grandmother to the older man (147) . Nevertheless, the misfit kills the entire family. In Good Country People, a second story by OConnor, another family mistakes a trusted stranger and this too, gives the story an ironic twist.
To illustrate, Mrs. Hopewell is a positive thinker and the divorced mother of her daughter, Joy, who has since changed her name to Hulga. For instance, some of her favorite sayings are Nothing is perfect, that was life, and well, people have opinions too. However, her daughter Hulga is nothing like her. In addition, Hulga is a stout thirty-two year old Atheus woman with a heart condition and who also has a Ph.D. in Philosophy.
Furthermore, at the age of ten, Hulga loses her leg in a hunting accident. For this reason, she possesses no drive. All day Joy sat on her neck in a deep chair, reading (268). Ironically, the story Good Country People, takes a twist when a stranger interrupts the lives of Mrs.
Hope well and specifically the life of Hulga. For instance, Manley Pointer, introduce himself as a friendly Bible sales man, but hides his liquor, cards of naked women, and condoms in his Bible case. After spending sometime with Hulga and using his manly charm, Pointer asks her, Couldnt we go on a picnic tomorrow ? Say yes, Hulga (276). Now as an existentialist, Hulga does not appreciate nature as it exists. She looked at nice young men as if she could smell their stupidity (268). On the contrary, Hulga does meet Pointer for a picnic and finally she reveals, I dont even believe in God (277).
Further, she explains, I am saved and you are damned but I dont believe in god (278). Soon, Pointer pulls her close and plants a heavy kiss, which turns out to be her first kiss ever. Similarly, before deciding to meet Pointer, Hulga has a seductive dream about the two of them together. Well, this dream comes close to reality when Pointer seduces her, but the difference is that he humiliates her by running away with her wooden leg and leaving her in the Cedars barn. In a subtle kind of sarcasm, OConnor reveals that Manley Pointer was nothing more than a thief with a strange fetish for womens false body parts. For example, she reveals that Pointer is not really a Bible salesman but uses this profession as a way to con his way into peoples lives.
Strangely enough, Pointer travels, seducing women with a unique handicap and takes advantage of their vulnerability. One time I got a womans glass eye this way. And you neednt to think youll catch me because Pointer aint really my name. I use a different name at every house I call at and dont stay nowhere long (287).
In conclusion, both of the stories where quite interesting since, they were so strange. OConnor uses a unique writing style in comparison to other writers. Also, judging from these two stories, she uses the same style in the majority of her works. More specifically, OConnor uses a lot of foreshadowing and irony, leading up to the catastrophe. Also, her subject matter is somewhat controversial since the settings of the two stories are in the South, she uses southern dialect and religion, and most of all, they have the strangest endings. Perhaps the greatest story she has to tell is not her forte, the short story, at all but maybe its her own story.
Bibliography Works Cited OConnor, Flannery. A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Flannery OConnor: Collected Works. New York, NY: The Library of America, 1988.
137-153. Good Country People. Flannery OConnor: Collected Works. New York, NY: The Library of America, 198. 263-284. 3.
Walters, Dorthy. Flannery OConnor. Boston: Twayne Publishers, Inc. 1973.