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Flannery O'Connor's View of Southern Theology

            A Good Man is Hard to Find is a collection of intriguing short stories written by Flannery O'Connor. They were first published in 1948. O'Connor's stories reflected life in the South. Most of her stories are told through the eyes of either a child or an elderly person. At first glance, they all seem very separate the only thing in common, the bizarre twists at the end of every piece. But then the reader will notice the common thread of great theological meaning in all of her works.
             O'Connor was a strict Roman Catholic but this was not the point of view she wrote from. She wrote about the more exaggerated faith of the evangelical, unsophisticated, protestant South and how their religion affected their lives when they found themselves in strange situations. "Her characters are [ ] spiritually primitive and afflicted in both mind and body [.] God is the sole reality in their lives, and this is so even when they repudiate Him- (Allen 255). She was a deeply religious woman who felt the need to sometimes horrify the reader with wild characters and her startling endings in order to get across her theological ideas. Doctor Thelma J. Shinn, a Professor of English and Women's Studies at Purdue University, wrote " And her criminals, her misfits and prophets, are closer to salvation because they are in the spiritual realm: they are Evil and are fighting a religious battle within themselves- their belief or disbelief in Christ is a matter of life and death- (375). For instance, in the title story, an escaped convict, The Misfit compares himself to Christ. He felt he was misunderstood. "It was the same case with Him as with me except He hadn't committed any crime and they could prove I committed one [.]" (27). He was persecuted harshly and his bitter feelings towards his prosecutors were what led him to become a convict. The Misfit thought that like Christ, he was not treated right "they never shown me my papers [.

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