Comparing Parker's Back And A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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Flannery O’Connor wrote 32 short stories over the course of her life. She was a brilliant writer that loved to put religious symbols and references to human mortality in her stories. Two of her more well known short stories are “Parkers Back” as well as “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Both of these stories are filled with religious innuendos. The story of O.E Parker is that of continuously running away from God despite several encounters. While the story of “the grandmother” is one of underlying fear and pretension, but then realizing how mortal she is. Throughout Flannery’s stories you can see the immense need for grace in the main characters. The two characters of Parker and the grandmother both experienced the same need for grace, but came upon it very differently. We first see Parker’s need for grace when he runs off into the Navy after his mother attempted to take him to a revival meeting. This showing his deep resentment for anything that may make him spiritual. After seeing a man at the fair that was covered in tattoos and appeared to Parker as “vibrant” and “whole”, O.E. was determined to become “worth something.” The story explains that every time Parker felt “empty” he would get another tattoo to fill the void, temporarily satisfying him. As a reader, one can see that…show more content…
While that is suggested, it is unclear. However, it is implied by Parker’s “revelation” while driving home from the bar. Parker thinks to himself –“it was as if he were himself but a stranger to himself, driving into a new country though everything he saw was familiar to him.” He feels like a new man, and by his breakdown against the tree (cross) in the last sentence of the story, that affirms his redemption. There is also a sense that the grandmother AND the misfit get this redemption by the reactions before and after her

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