Symbolism in A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

1967 Words 8 Pages
in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" Flannery O' Connor uses symbolism to give more meaning to her short story. O'Connor writes a story of a Grandmother versus a Misfit, or good versus evil. This short story is about a family going to Florida, who takes a turn down a dirt road, which only causes them to get in an accident, and be found by the Misfit. This encounter prevented them from ever arriving Florida, because the Misfit ends their lives. Using symbolism, O'Connor creates a story with much meaning to the Grandmother, nature, sky, woods, their surroundings, roads, and cars to portray the constant battle between good and evil. In "A Good Man is Hard to Find" the Grandmother is a main character that symbolizes a savior. O' Connor …show more content…
The significance about the number of times she was shot is notable to be the second most important symbol in the story. “To insist at this moment of mutual revelation that the Grandmother is transformed into the agent of God’s grace is to do serious violence in the story. It is as tendentious as to decree that the bullets in her chest symbolize the trinity” (Bandy, 151). After the grandmother is shot, the story goes on to describe the Grandmother's face. When one thinks someone of being dead, the picture is a blank face. But in this short story it is quoted: “Hiram and Bobby Lee returned from the woods and stood over the ditch, looking down at the grandmother who half sat and half lay in a puddle of blood with her legs crossed under her like a child's and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky” (O’Connor). The smiles symbolizes the Grandmother's acceptance. “The smile on the face of the grandmother marks a victory over the grotesque in which the sublime is passed through to the reception of grace in a gratuitous act of love” (Raigor, 189). The symbolism with the Grandmother is very important throughout the entire short story, as is her role, and her death. Along with the Grandmother, her surroundings and nature's symbolism take a big role depicting the theme good versus evil. At many points throughout the story O' Connor points out different aspects of nature, such as the sky, the woods, and the fields that
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