'A Good Man is Hard to Find': Flannery O'Conner and John Henry   -  ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ is an unsettling story by a disconcerting writer. And yet it is Flannery O’Connor’s distinct ‘angle’ and complexity which make the morals of her stories (and they are indeed moralistic) so enduring and affecting. The discrepancy between O’Connor’s Southern Gothic style and her decidedly devout message is felt in all of her works, but no where more brutally than her portrayal of ‘The Misfit’. The incongruity between means and method is shattered in small and surprising ways (O’Conner herself called them “revolutionary moments of grace”), gestures and/or glimpses of awareness that, however fleeting, capture the true beauty and perfection of humanity. It is John Henry, the disrespectful little brat, who provides one of these moments, when he artlessly reaches for his father’s hand. It is just this sort of simple gesture around which O’Connor’s stories are wrapped; condensing the act, which in a less hostile context would be almost meaningless, into something pure and heart wrenchingly beautiful.  

 

 

'A Good Man is Hard to Find':  Flannery O'Connor and John Henry.

Pyrography & acrylic with lacquer finish.

48" x 48"

2006