A Good Man is Easy to Find: Flannery O’Connor’s Theology of Death


  • João Pedro Vala PhD Scholar at The University of Lisboa, Portugal Author




O’Connor, Death, Past, Optimism


The aim of this paper is to describe Flannery O’Connor’s stories as the repetition
of a pattern that consists in, through sickness, changing good country people into
good men. Therefore, sickness, in O’Connor’s oeuvre, has to be described as a
blessing, an idea that the writer herself would gladly approve of. To prove it, this
paper takes into consideration the way O’Connor described the debilitating disease
that would end up by killing her. The usual portrait critics make of O’Connor’s
work consists in randomly applying catchwords like South, Catholic or Grotesque.
Contrarily to these critics’ description, the somehow systematic approach to
O’Connor’s stories here proposed does not in any way serve to reduce and simplify
the writer’s work, but to enhance its mystery and manners. What this paper tries to
demonstrate is that, through the analysis of the plot of O’Connor’s short stories, we
can have access to her personal theology. A theology that, although pictured so
ghastly in tales full of rapes, delusions and murders, is profoundly optimistic.
O’Connor’s aim as a writer is, thence, to prove that redemption and revelations are
only dependent of an awareness regarding our own death, an awareness only
sickness, in its many forms, can bring.




How to Cite

João Pedro Vala. (2024). A Good Man is Easy to Find: Flannery O’Connor’s Theology of Death. University of Chitral Journal of Linguistics and Literature, 2(I), 23-28. https://doi.org/10.33195/2tf6gb45

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