Flannery O’Connor addresses the theme of religion in some of his stories. The short stories “Good Country People” and “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” represent the Christian identities that are seen in many of the fictions written by Flannery O’Connor. This paper will look at the message on religion that O’Connor delivers in these two stories.
In “Good Country People”, Hulga’s deformity has fashioned her character as she reveres her missing leg as her defining quality, besides her education. She takes care of the leg and does not let anyone to see it. Nevertheless, this type of attitude devoid of any faith in God is illustrated as what eventually leads to her downfall. In addition, Hulga’s education is linked to the fact that she lacks faith in God, particularly in her mother’s mind. She in fact tells Manley that she does not have belief in God.
In O’Connor’s "The Life You Save May Be Your Own", Tom Shiflet has a chance of achieving Grace during his interface with Lucynell Craters. Without any friends, Tom Shiflet has been wandering and found an opportunity to work hard and live a quiet life. The crooked cross that is embodied within his figure is a representation of an opportunity towards salvation. When Tom starts the old car, he experiences an expression of critical modesty on his face since the car has not been started in about 15 years. It is likened to as raising the dead, a miracle that is tied to that which Jesus did by raising Lazarus in the New Testament.
In conclusion, O’Connor discusses religion in both of his stories “Good Country People” and “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”. In particular, he places emphasis on the Christianity religion, which acts as an avenue of passing his message to the readers.
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