Deception of Self-Righteousness in Literature Argumentative Essay by Faustino

Deception of Self-Righteousness in Literature
This paper addresses the issue of grace and righteousness in Flannery O'Connor's short story, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find."
# 59568 | 1,647 words | 0 sources | 2005 | US
Published on Jun 22, 2005 in Literature (English) , English (Argument)

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This paper argues against the common assertion that the grandmother in the story is an agent of grace. An alternative analysis is offered for those who do not see the story as a parable of grace. The grace is a guise, a rationale that is not brought off. O'Connor focuses her story on what is sinister in The Misfit and satirical in the grandmother and her family. She depicts pure evil in The Misfit as he obliterates the whining grandmother and her clan. The naive and deluded Grandmother is brought low by a violent encounter that shakes her out of her petty superiority and pretentious dress. Ultimately, she is forced to realize her vulnerability and ridiculous condition.

From the Paper:

"Flannery O'Connor's short story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find," provokes the reader to consider the issue of grace and righteousness. The main character in the story, the Grandmother, believes that in her day "people did right" and certainly in her mind, she was the most righteous of all. In analyzing the actions of the Grandmother, the reader gains insight about her attitudes and values. One could interpret, as O'Connor herself does, that the Grandmother's final act leads her to an awareness of her feigned righteousness and ushers her into a true state of grace. However, rather than seeing the grandmother's final gesture as an embodiment of spirituality, one could assert her final act as mundane, selfish, and in every sense unredeeming."

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