Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) was a writer of beautifully brutal and tragic short stories that often portray her “Bible belt” upbringing in Savannah, Georgia through stark religious imagery and a keen sense of decay found in most Southern Gothic literature. A Good Man is Hard to Find, published in 1955, is a stark collection of ten captivating short stories that often feature emotionally troubled or physically deformed characters. The general sense of unease and depravity that exists in these stories is only superseded by the pure genius of the writing itself. The title story describes a family’s deadly encounter with a criminal named “Misfit” while on a car trip. “Good Country People” has moral Joy, who has a PhD in philosophy, change her name to Hulga in response to losing her leg in a hunting accident. Hulga seduces a bible salesman named Manley Pointer (symbolism anyone?) and completes her moral corruption in the process. We find a lack of Southern hospitality towards some Polish immigrants in “The Displaced Person.”
Filled with blatant symbolism, often involving racism, sexuality, poverty, religion and aging, this brilliant collection of short stories is a great starting point for discovering the repressed genius of Flannery O’Connor and her works.
Submitted by Dan @ Central