But a modicum of insight into the interests and craftsmanship of Flannery O’Connor makes her writing commendable on both literary and religious grounds. “Cathartic bitterness, a belief in grace as something devastating to the recipient, a gelid concept of salvation, and violence as a force for good” (Galloway) characterize her work. She was well aware of her dual role as a Catholic writer and a fiction writer. She only tried to homogenize both. Thus where the religious dimension was never far away from her writing she was also influenced by Martin Heidegger’s concept of dasein: the moment of death makes a man’s existence replete with meaning. She blends characterization with the setting and works out the meaning of the story. In the following analysis let us look at the dynamics of characterization, theme, and setting in Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find.
Good characters inspire strong feelings. Characterization should not begin and end midway but should be continued till the end as the characters evolve. Extraneous characters should be avoided and all the characters should contribute in varying degrees to the progress of the plot and depth of the story. A Good Man Is Hard to Find is a reasonable example for good characterization. The action in the story unfolds through the grandmother. She is the volatile person in the story with a glib tongue. The old lady is however a Christian only by appearances. Her moral platitude is her reality. When that is stripped by her confrontation with the killer there is no future for the character of the grandmother. "Why youre one of my babies. Youre one of my own children!" (O’Connor 132). These words are definitely not to influence the killer against shooting her but it is her saving moment of grace where she realizes the hollowness of her hitherto existence and recognizes the Misfit as the medium of the grace. O’Connor was compassionate to her