Formalist Criticism Essay

1196 Words 5 Pages
Flannery O’Connor is best known for her Southern Gothic writing style and grotesque characters. Dorothy Tuck McFarland states that “O’Connor created bizarre characters or extreme situations in order to attain deeper kinds of realism” (1). This writing style is seen in Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Flannery O’Connor uses many techniques to gain the reader’s attention and keep them captivated. One way that O’Connor does this is by revolving her stories around symbols and integrating religious elements into her works. O’Connor is widely recognized for incorporating her Catholic faith into her stories. “She was a devout Roman Catholic, with a Southern upbringing” (Whitt 1). There are many types of ways to …show more content…
Another religious symbol is when the family is driving and takes the wrong road and is led straight to The Misfit. This represents a person’s life and how easy it is to stray away from their beliefs and from Jesus. Flannery O’Connor uses characterization to create, reveal, or develop a character to give the reader a better understanding of the story. This method of writing is seen when O’Connor describes what the grandmother is wearing, “Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she has pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady” (370). What O’Connor reveals about the grandmother is that she is conceited and only cares about how others view her. The grandmother demonstrates she is self-centered when she hides her car in the car, all the while knowing that her son would not approve. This action results in her son wrecking the car and leads to the families death. Another example of the grandmother’s demeanor is when The Misfit is killing the family the grandmother only pleads with him not to kill her, she does not mention the rest of the family. This is evident when the grandmother repeatedly asks “You wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you?” (376). The author uses foreshadowing in the first paragraph when The Misfit is first mentioned, to develop the character. This technique hints to the reader

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