The Use of Violence in Flannery O'Connor's Stories

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The main recurring theme in Flannery O’Connor’s stories is the use of violence towards characters in order to give them an eye-opening moment in which they finally realize their true self in relation to the rest of society and openly accept insight into how they should act or think. This theme of violence can clearly be seen in three works by Flannery O’Connor: A Good Man is Hard to Find, Good Country People, and Everything That Rises Must Converge.

In A Good Man is Hard to Find, the grandmother and the Misfit both experience a life-changing event that leads to them having a clear understanding of who they should truly be. After the Misfit kills the rest of the family, the grandmother is left alone with the Misfit in the ditch. Once she
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She realizes that she is left defenseless and that her philosophy and education can not help her in times of great intense physical struggle and difficulty, such as trying to get back home without her other leg and no glasses in order to see (Whitt 78). In Everything that Rises Must Converge, Julian and his mother experience a moment of clarity in terms of contemplating on their actions and thoughts. Julian has always hated his mother for her traditional southern beliefs and ways. She even goes as far as to wish that she lived back in the past when she was a girl. She embodies the traditional pre-civil rights southerner who believes in being superior to someone else in terms of race, money, or any other factor. When she sees a black woman on the bus wearing the same hat she is wearing, she realizes that someone regarded as inferior by her standards, a black woman, is suddenly equal to her. She shows great discomfort and disapproval of this new ideal. When the black woman and her son are getting off of the bus, she approaches them and gives the child a penny as a sign of humiliation and inferiority. The black woman then hits her which causes her to fall to the ground. Julian’s mother falling to the ground shows a change in actions and thoughts for both her and Julian (Moore). Julian begins to tell her that she got what she deserved for giving her insulting pennies to black
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