O'Connor Character Traits Essays

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O'Connor Character Traits

In Flannery O'Connor's short stories, "A Good Man is Hard to Find", "Revelation", and "Greenleaf", the main character in each share similar traits. Though the grandmother, Mrs. Turpin, and Mrs. May differ from each other in many aspects, there are three notable traits that each clearly possesses. Each of these individuals is highly conscious of their own social status, is socially prejudiced, and is extremely racist.

Each of the women is revealed as being highly conscious of their own social status. Not only are they aware of where they exist socially, they are quite proud of their ranking. A perfect example of this occurs in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" when the grandmother dresses herself in such a
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In "Greenleaf" Mrs. May puts all her energy into the farm because, in her mind, success can only derive from hard work. However, no matter how much she does, things never seem to go well. On the other hand, the Greenleafs, who are socially far beneath Mrs. May, manage their life just fine. This frustrates Mrs. May because Mr. Greenleaf is merely her hired hand who is barely helpful at all. From Mrs. May's point of view, the Greenleafs "had no worries, no responsibilities. They lived like the lilies of the field, off the fat that she struggled to put into the land."

O'Connor portrays the characters as socially prejudiced. Near the end of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" the grandmother tells the Misfit, "You don't look a bit like you have common blood." She says this as though so-called "common" people fit the profile of a serial killer and the Misfit does not. This ridiculous assumption proves that the grandmother has no idea what a person of a lower class is like. She obviously assumes only the lower class consists of heartless, ruthless criminals. Mrs. Turpin in "Revelation" is extremely judgmental about poor people. When describing the poor woman in the doctor's office she notes, "There was nothing you could tell her about people like them that she didn't already know." Mrs. Turpin is convinced that she has everyone figured out. Every time the poor woman speaks aloud, Mrs. Turpin responds with a
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