A Good Man is Easy to Find: Flannery O’Connor’s Theology of Death
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.
Key-words: O’Connor, Death, Past, Optimism