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Flannery O'Connor Case

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Flannery O'Connor Response #2

Flannery O'Connor considers that "the most significant position life offers the Christian" is to be "facing death". This statement by O'Connor is best illustrated in her short story A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Within this short story, O'Connor utilizes the plot of the distress put upon the family, stuck after their car flipped off the road, when they are taken hostage, and eventually killed, by the "Misfit". The character that best illustrates O'Connor's point is the grandmother, for she is the one who quickly turns to Christianity to hopefully save herself by creating a genuine appearance of care and compassion for the Misfit's life. When the grandmother is in this situation of adversity, it is evident that she turns to terse statements when attempting to convince the Misfit of some sort of religious revelation, just as when she was contemplating of "telling him that he (the Misfit) must pray. She opened and closed her mouth several times before anything came out. Finally she found herself saying, 'Jesus, Jesus'". The fact that she had to think deeply before saying anything illustrates how troublesome the situation is, she wants to say the perfect statement to ultimately convince the Misfit to not kill her, but also not get too annoying where the Misfit shoots her anyways, but she only finds herself saying the useless statement "Jesus, Jesus". The use of Christian references is extremely heightened as the grandmother's turn to "go back to the woods" quickly approaches. She quickly resorts to screaming and crying as she puts all her effort in this last attempt: "Jesus! You've got good blood! I know you wouldn't shoot a lady! You come from nice people! Pray! Jesus!". Ultimately, with the combination of terse and calm statements juxtaposed with this final cry to hopefully save herself, O'Connor achieves her point that facing death is the most important position for a Christian to be in, because it is then when a person will resort to their only option, faith, to attempt to pull off the impossible. Just as the saying goes that "there is no atheist in a foxhole", O'Connor illustrates that religion is most prevalent and most selfishly used when a person faces their ultimate doom.

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