Ambiguity in O'Connor

1203 Words Jan 27th, 2006 5 Pages
Ambiguity in ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find ' In most short stories ambiguity is used to some extent. The level of ambiguity in each story varies, however the importance and value of that vagueness does not. Ambiguity often leads to elevating the thought put into reading the text, as well as numerous interpretations. In Flannery O 'Connor 's short story, ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find ', the ambiguous theme causes both deeper thought and different opinions about the text. Through the characters in the story, the reader can reflect on the recurring theme which poses the question of what makes a person good. Ambiguity in short stories is common and can be used in many different ways by the author. Flannery O 'Connor uses ambiguity in …show more content…
While it may seem peculiar that O 'Connor would make the theme an ambiguous one it clearly is essential to the story. The ambiguous theme makes the story more intriguing. Had O 'Connor written the story with a clear set of characteristics for a good man and stated them in the text, the story would lose much of its meaning. The intent of the story is to inspire the reader to reflect on the meaning of a good man. The title, ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find ' alludes to this point. After reading the text, it can be assumed that a good man is difficult to find because no one is universally considered to be good. Each person has peers that have differing opinions of him. By the theme being an ambiguous one, O 'Connor initiates her readers to contemplate the diversity of ideas and values that individuals may have on the same subject. This makes the story more intriguing and valuable. Instead of ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find ' simply being a story about a family crossing paths with a murderer, it also inspires various opinions about the theme itself. This makes the story one that will pass the test of time and be relevant for all eras. The ambiguous approach to developing the theme not only makes the story, it also adds to the reading experience. As the story progresses the reader begins to discover the values of the characters based on the dialogue between characters about the notion of a good man. The reader can

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