A Good Man By Flannery O ' Connor

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Flannery O’Connor is one of the most controversial and well known modern day Southern Gothic authors in America. When she came into prominence in 1955 with her first collection of short stories titled A Good Man is Hard to Find, it was met with criticism for being overtly violent and grotesque. One reviewer from Time magazine said the short stories were “witheringly sarcastic” and “written in a style as balefully direct as a death sentence” (Simpson 44). The reviewer went even further on to call O’Connor “Ferocious Flannery.” O’Connor, unbothered by the criticism, replied to critics by saying, “Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic” (Mystery and Manners 40). Critics also noticed her use of Christianity in the short stories, which only amplified accusations of them being sarcastic to which O’Connor replied, “I am tired of reading reviews that call A Good Man brutal and sarcastic...The stories are hard but they are hard because there is nothing harder or less sentimental than Christian realism...when I see these stories described as horror stories I am always amused because the reviewer always has hold of the wrong horror” (The Habit of Being 90). Although it is confusing to O’Connor’s critics as to why she infused violence and Christianity into her stories, there was a method to her madness: she simply wanted to show readers that violence and

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