A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories

I finished reading A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories a few days ago, and I think I must write something about it. The book was first published in 1955. The writer, Flannery O’Connor, was only 30 when it was published. 9 years later she died of lupus.

When I started reading the first story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, I was on the bus. The first few pages were so funny that I tried very hard not to laugh. Finally I decided I would continue reading at home. However, as I read, I found that the end of the story was not as funny as the beginning. I was quite shocked with the ending. But not all the endings were as shocking. Nevertheless, the endings were always unpredictable and left me with mixed feelings.

O’Connor’s style of writing is blatant, comical, vivid, and satirical. She has the ability to turn ordinary happenings of country people into such a powerful drama. She does that without being complicated or flowery, only with blunt use of words. Although I don’t know anything about life in rural south in that period of time, the powerful language she uses brings me to connect with the people in the stories.

One thing worth mentioning is that every story in this book (if I’m not mistaken) has the words God, Jesus, or Lord. Christianity seems to have been an integral part of the lives of the people in the stories. But Christianity seen from the lives of these people has become more like a tradition, a part of life in the rural south. They may have much knowledge about Christianity, but just as a tradition. The Christians in the stories are depicted in a satirical way. This leaves me with a question to ponder, “Have I lived up my faith the way it should be?”

This is just my opinion on this book. For more in-depth discussion of the writings of Flannery O’Connor and the philosophy behind them, read here.


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