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Redemption Is Open to All!

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Redemption is open to all!

Flannery O'Conner uses strong religious influences in many of her short stories. In the story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" the theme, "Redemption is open to all; no matter who you are, what your background is, or what sins you have committed," is very strong, well- developed, and heavily supported. Many of the characters, their conflicts, the symbols, and irony all seem to revolve around this unified theme.

In this story the main characters are well developed and are faced with difficult strong conflicts. The Grandma, who seems to the be main character, is from a typical southern family; however; she was also portrayed as a strong hypocrite. This is shown in how she talks to her grandchildren, when she was explaining that "in her day the children were respectful of everyone," then calls a black child standing in front of a shack, a "pickaninny." The Grandma is also portrayed as someone who knows - it - all. As in when she was explaining everything that they saw on the side of the road. After the grandma was conflicted with the Misfit. She also had an internal conflict among herself and God. She finally realized that she was living life as a hypocrite with the line: " Why you're one of my babies. You're on of my own children." Then she turns her life back to God, receiving redemption, mere seconds before she was shot three times in the chest by the Misfit.

The Misfit was the second major character. Born into a good, wealthy family. He had been raised up right, was even a gospel singer in his life time. However, he also had committed various different sins. The Misfit was the one that told his henchmen to kill the family after having watched them break down down a long dirt road. The Misfit also had an internal conflict between himself and his conscience, between shooting the Grandma and choosing heaven. In the end the Misfit chose to go to hell by shooting the Grandma.

This story also had many minor characters that did not have many conflicts or was lacking strong developed characteristics. Bailey, the dad, was always stressed and was easily angered. The two older children, John Wesley and June Star, were both rude and loud - This caused many problems throughout the story. The mother, who is possibly the most minor of characters, not even having a name, appeared to be plain, innocent,



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