O'Connor's Stories: The Underlying Meaning .
There are two types of people in the world when it comes to reading stories, and analyzing their meaning. First, you have the people who read more than one story by the same author and think, because it is two different stories, there are two different meanings. Then, you have the people, who also read more than one story by the same author; however, they read them over and over again until they come to the conclusion that the stories have something in common: they share the same meaning. Flannery O'Connor, the author of Good Country People, and A Good Man is Hard to Find, write all of her stories centered around one meaning. .
O'Connor was a devout Catholic. Her stories are all centered on the reality of faith. Each story she writes contains a character that feels self-satisfied and self-righteous but is blind to the truth and the powerful mystery of Christ's grace. In order to wake up the self-righteous of her readers, she sought to write stories of grotesque violence and injustice. .
O'Connor always includes in the story an agent of grace. However, though the purpose of this agent is to awaken the main character to the mystery of Christ's grace, the agent him/herself is not in the least Christ-like and is usually just the opposite. Her agents .
of grace are, for example, irritatingly spoiled nave men and philosophical murderers. Just to name a few, in A Good Man is Hard to Find, the agent of grace is the Misfit, and in Good Country People, the agent of grace, is the bible salesmen. Yet these characters act in the service of Christ by waking up the average, law-abiding, "nice," or "smart" protagonists to their complacency, self-righteousness, and ignorance about the things that really matter. .
The meaning of O'Connor's stories is based on the reality of life. The reality of life to O'Connor is that in order for there to be Incarnation there have to be Redemption.