Flannery O Connor Satire

Words: 841
Pages: 4

American author Flannery O’Connor, known for her shocking and symbolic stories, critiques the American South in her book, A Good Man is Hard to Find. In fact, according to author Lauren Groff, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is the most American book I know. By this I mean that it speaks of the hypocrisies of the American soul in microcosm.” Born and raised in the South, O’Connor is privy to all of its many prejudices and hypocrisies, and ultimately believes that the solution for all of them is grace. In her stories, O’Connor extends forgiveness and understanding to all, especially those that do not deserve it. By offering grace to arguably the most guilty of people, O’Connor exemplifies how everyone is in need of salvation. In A Good Man is Hard to …show more content…
In her short story, “Good Country People” she names the central character “Joy Hopewell” despite her pessimistic and critical demeanor. Her attitude is more accurately reflected in her chosen name, Hulga, which her mother “was certain that [Hulga] had thought and thought until she had hit upon the ugliest name in any language” (O’Connor 181). The sharp contrast between the name given by her mother and Joy/Hulga’s chosen name reveals to the reader that she finds pleasure in trying to irritate her mother, and more broadly the others in her town. This flawed attitude of disdain and superiority is ultimately why Joy/Hulga needs grace. Additionally, in “Good Country People,” O’Connor names the swindling Bible salesman “Manly Pointer” to signal to the reader his not-so-biblical intentions with Joy/Hulga. O’Connor often foreshadows the endings to her stories through names and details, and as Groff puts it, “Comedy in O’Connor manifests in countless ways; in tonal irony, in dialogue in which characters inadvertently reveal their moral lapses, and in the perfect and telling detail” (Groff