Literary analysis can be identified as an argumentative discussion on any literary work. A literary aim at examining or discussing a writer’s understanding of any work with the help of a keen examination of all the choices presented by the author. Primary choices such as word choice, motifs, including themes and other used literary devices should be considered. Portions of a book can be selected to assist the realization of an accurate literary analysis. The assay aims presenting a literary analysis comparison between “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” By the author by Flannery O’Connor as well as the story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. Throughout the reading of the story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and the text “A Rose for Emily” one can identify a similar dominant theme which both the authors have presented in different manners. One recurring theme throughout the writing offered by these two authors, William Faulkner and Flanner O’ Connor is the absence of goodwill and divine grace within the society. This particular theme is evident through the horrible, imperfect, and a disgusting world which the author’s characters have created. At one point in the book “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the author states that “The trouble with the world was that nobody stopped or took any care,” (Keil 43-47). Through the use of various literary devices, the authors have implied their knowledge in the effort to illustrate and demonstrate this primary theme. The plot, characters, as well as the setting of the texts are positioned in a manner to present their society and the morals adapted by the community. With such implications, the books hence highlight the negligence of proper morals among the members.
Flannery O’Connor has demonstrated his interest towards the absence of divine grace and an imperfect society throughout her text “A Good Man is Hard Find”. The author O’Connor having an opportunity to explore different places through trips away from her home, she was able to source a variety of information which assisted her a lot in the writing of the above work. More so, O’ Connor used other means of resources such as the reading of books, as well as newspapers which provided her with a lot of information concerning her surroundings. It is evident in her work that some of the principal subjects were sourced from the newspaper stories. For instance, the idea behind the pathological murderer, who killed a whole family is one event which has its source from a local daily where an account of two offenders had earlier terrorized Atlanta in year 1950s. In general, it is clear to state that Flannery O’Connor made use of the occurrences taking place in her surroundings to enhance and achieve her objectives towards, her audience. Through such a setting, it is more efficient for the audience to relate the teachings in the story unlike when an author neglects the use of real life occurring events.
Plot setting of the story, character application, tone and language use are some of the evident literary techniques which the author O’Connor has applied in her literary work. One of the significant literary techniques O’Connor has concentrated on to demonstrate her themes is through the character presentation. Through her story, the manner in which the characters are presented powerfully illustrates her view on how man has continuously proved to be a tumbled creature. To quote Sammy Butts one of the character in the text, he says to her grandmother that “a good man is hard to find” indicating how the world have changed compared to the past (Blythe and Sweet 135-137). The author introduces the three criminal who portrayed inhuman actions through killing members of a family. To successfully achieve a precise and elaborate demonstration on her central theme, the writer makes use of the literary character technique. The Misfit is one character employed by the author to bring an illustration of the evil in the community efficiently. The Misfit is one wanted criminal who tends taking advantage of the accidents which happen in the forest or areas around the woods. Once a family chances to get involved in an accident in these areas, The Misfit will always be nearby to carry out his evil deeds. To quote The Misfit he says, “You can do one thing or you can do another, kill a man or take a tire off his car, because sooner or later you’re going to forget what it was you done and just be punished for it,” (Brittain 65-69)
Likewise, the author William Faulkner presents a similar theme in his text “A Rose for Emily” however; he applies different literary devices compared to O’Connor. Fiction, foreshadowing, plot setting, and character application are some of the literary devices applied by the author to illustrate his primary theme. “A Rose for Emily” at large describes the practices occurring in one of the minor towns in Mississippi. Emily Grierson is the narrator and the dominant character used in the text to bring out the author’s idea entangled in the book. Unlike in the text “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Faulkner adapts a non-linear mode to tell his story through the narrator’s memories of her death. The author illustrates his theme by describing a variety of evil doings which are occurring in the community. The war that led to the death of is occasion included in the writer’s story indicating how the community has continued to neglect the enhancement of good morals among the members. The narrator’s flashbacks act as a primary source of the author’s data to assist him in presenting the objectives set in the book. Such applications are different compared to the book written by O’Connor who make use of current events sourced from the local daily. Emily is a significant member of the society which the writer present in his text, to quote the author, “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care,” (“Stylistic Analysis of Complexity in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”” 122-124). However, we can identify the community was isolating and neglecting her presence. Such actions from the members of the town are used by the writer to illustrate how the society is existing in an imperfect and horrible world “After her father’s death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all” (Perry 59-63). The plot setting literary device is also evident in the text “A Rose for Emily.” The author presents his story in a tragic and a sad setting, the tone throughout the text also assist the audience to understand and interpret the author’s idea in a more detailed manner. The several death instances mentioned by the author indicate a troubled and an imperfect habitat which is unsafe for human existence. Unlike in O’Connor’s literature work, where the application of fiction is not primarily applied, Faulkner has significantly played a role in enhancing the dominant theme in the text which is the absence of goodwill and divine grace within the society.
It clear that despite the texts in question bearing a similar theme, the authors involved use different literary critics to demonstrate the ideas to their audience. With the book “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” one will conclude that the styles used by O’Connor are more efficient compared to those used by Faulkner. O’Connor making use of the current happening situations makes her work more efficient and easy to understand.
Blythe, Hal, and Charlie Sweet. “O’Connor’s a Good Man is Hard to Find.” The Explicator, vol. 50, no. 3, 1992, pp. 185-187.
Brittain, Joan T. “1. O’Connor’s a Good Man Is Hard to Find.” The Explicator, vol. 26, no. 1, 1967, pp. 1-3.
“Faulkner and Deconstruction of Style in “A Rose for Emily”.” International Conference on Humanities, Literature and Management (ICHLM’15) Jan. 9-10, 2015 Dubai (UAE), 2015.
Keil, Katherine. “O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The Explicator, vol. 65, no. 1, 2006, pp. 44-47.
Perry, Menakhem. “Literary Dynamics: How the Order of a Text Creates Its Meanings [With an Analysis of Faulkner’s Ä Rose for Emily”].” Poetics Today, vol. 1, no. 1/2, 1979, p. 35.
“A Stylistic Analysis of Complexity in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies, vol. 7, no. 4, 2016.