Works and Common Themes Flannery O'Connor is considered one of America's greatest fiction writers and one of the strongest apologists for Roman Catholicism in the twentieth century. Born of the marriage of two of Georgia's oldest Catholic families, O'Connor was a devout believer whose small but impressive body of fiction presents the soul's struggle with what she called the "stinking mad shadow of Jesus.
She argues that his children, John Flannery oconnor and June Star, have never been to East Tennessee, and she shows him a news article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about an escaped murderer who calls himself "The Misfit" and was last seen in Florida.
The next day, the grandmother wakes up early to hide her cat, Pitty Sing, in a basket on the floor in the back of the car.
She is worried that the cat would die while they were gone. Bailey finds her sitting in the car, dressed in her best clothes and an ostentatious hat; she says that if she should die in an accident along the road, she wants people to see her corpse and know she was refined and "a lady.
She recalls her youth in the Old South, reminiscing about her courtships and how much better everything was in her time, when children were respectful and people "did right then. He and the grandmother agree that things were much better in the past and that the world at present is degenerate; she concurs with Sammy's remark that "a good man is hard to find.
This catches the children's attention and they want to visit the house, so they harass their father until he reluctantly agrees to allow them just one side trip. As he drives them down a remote dirt road, the grandmother suddenly realizes that the house she was thinking of was actually in Tennessee, not Georgia.
That realization makes her involuntarily kick her feet which frightens the cat, causing it to spring from its hidden basket onto Bailey's shoulder. Bailey then loses control of the car and it flips over, ending up in a ditch below the road, near Toomsboro.
Only the children's mother is injured; the children are frantic with excitement, and the grandmother's main concern is dealing with Bailey's anger. Shaking in the ditch, the family waits for help. When she notices a black hearse coming down the road, the grandmother flags it down until it stops.
Three men come out and begin to talk to her. All three have guns.
The grandmother says that she recognizes the leader, the quiet man in glasses, as The Misfit. He immediately confirms this, saying it would have been better for them all if she had not recognized him, and Bailey curses his mother. The Misfit's men take Bailey and John Wesley into the woods on a pretense and two pistol shots ring out.
The Misfit claims that he has no memory of the crime for which he was imprisoned; when he was informed by doctors that he had killed his father, he claimed that his father died in a flu epidemic.
The men then return to take the children's mother, the baby, and June Star to the woods for the same purpose as Bailey and the boy. The grandmother begins pleading for her own life.
When The Misfit talks to her about Jesus, he expresses his doubts about His raising Lazarus from the dead. As he speaks, The Misfit becomes agitated and angry. He snarls into the grandmother's face and claims that life has "no pleasure but meanness".
In her growing confusion, she thinks that The Misfit is going to cry, so she reaches out and touches his shoulder tenderly, saying "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!
When the family has all been murdered, The Misfit takes a moment to clean his glasses and pick up the grandmother's cat; he states that the grandmother would have been a good woman if "it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.
He crashes their car on a family trip to Florida when he gives in to his mother's and children's wishes to visit an old plantation. Bailey's wife Quiet woman described as having a face that was "as broad and innocent as a cabbage.
She is not identified by name. John Wesley, June Star Bailey's children, aged 8 and 7, respectively. The Baby Male child of Bailey and his wife.
Not identified by name.Flannery O'Connor criticism, biography, discussion of stories such as A Good Man is Hard to Find, and much more.
Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia in , the only child of Catholic parents. In she enrolled at the Georgia State College for Women. Website for Childhood Home of Southern Gothic author Flannery O'Connor in Savannah, GA.
The landscape of American literature was fundamentally changed when Flannery O'Connor stepped onto the scene with her first published book, Wise Blood, in Her fierce, sometimes comic novels and stories reflected the darkly funny, vibrant, and theologically sophisticated woman who wrote them.
By Dr. Marshall Bruce Gentry. Mary Flannery O’Connor was born March 25, , in Savannah, Georgia, the only child of Edward Francis and Regina Cline O’Connor. Flannery O’Connor once wrote, “because fine writing rarely pays, fine writers usually end up teaching, and the [MFA] degree, however worthless to the spirit, can be expected to add something to the flesh.” That phrase “worthless to the spirit” contains a great deal of the negative attitude.