Guid Essay

Guid Essay

A Look into O’Connor’s Character’s Eyes: Critical Analysis of ‘ A Good Man is Hard to Find’ – Free Essay Example

Flannery O’Connor, a well-known author, wrote mostly about the relationship between people and God. O’Connor, a Roman Catholic, was devoted to her religion. Most of her stories revolve around southern, rural culture and the people who lived in this environment. O’Connor used many themes and symbols in her stories, and one symbol that particularly sticks out is a character’s eyes. Flannery O’Connor uses character’s eyes to convey qualities that lead to a profound understanding of their actions.

O’Connor uses eye color to reveal qualities about the characters because vision is an extremely important aspect of human life. The color of a character’s eyes in many of O’Connor’s short stories reflects their view of the world and the people around them. Vision, or someone’s ability to see through their eyes, has historically been referred to as more than just how someone is able to use sight, “[…] for the first two hundred years of its existence, the word “vision” referred exclusively to sight with the mind’s eye […]” (Nelson). Flannery O’Connor gives the reader an in-depth description of the eyes of a character because it gives the reader a preview of the character’s mind’s eye. For example, when a character has small, black eyes the reader is to assume that they are not pure, but a character with bright, blue eyes is seen as innocent. Flannery O’Connor uses these descriptions because she is revealing a part of the character to the reader.

One of the most prevalent examples of O’Connor’s symbolism with a character’s eyes is in her short story, “Revelation”. Ruby Turpin’s beady eyes scanned the waiting room and analyzed the people sitting there. Vision in its entirety is an important aspect in the story because at the end when Mrs. Turpin has her revelation, she has a vision of heaven and of a better life. When Ruby Turpin is surveying the waiting room, she is meeting the people’s eyes and judging them. In “Revelation”, “[an] examination of eyes as symbols reveals the gradual unfolding that leads Ruby Turpin to her ultimate personal revelation” (Smith). Mrs. Turpin’s judgment and hypocrisy lead to her revelation in the end. A reader can predict this by the description of her eyes. The fact that they are little and bright gives the reader a sense that she has a bright view of either herself or of the world, and since they are black the reader can tell that Mrs. Turpin is not the most innocent or kind character.

As the story progresses, the reader can understand why Ruby Turpin’s eyes are little, bright, and black because, although she has a cheery sense of her life, she is a hypocrite and in reality, is very lost. O’Connor brings in the symbolism of eyes and vision because of her religious beliefs. In the beliefs of Christianity, vision also holds a key role. Specifically, in “Revelation” the vision Mrs. Turpin has is life-changing. “The cost—and gift—of such a burning is a clarity of vision […]” (Bruner) and to Mrs. Turpin her burning revelation gives her a lack of ambiguity about her life thus far. The symbolism of Mrs. Turpin’s eyes is relative to the story not only because her eyes describe her personality, but because Mrs. Turpin’s view of the world is different due to her distorted vision.

Mary Grace’s eyes are also vastly incorporated into “Revelation.” Mary Grace and her mother both have blue eyes, but O’Connor describes the lady’s eyes as captivating and Mary Grace’s as distasteful. O’Connor’s description of Mary Grace’s eyes reflects Mrs. Turpin’s character more than Mary Grace’s. Mrs. Turpin is judging this young girl and viewing Mary Grace’s eyes as ugly. The description also shows how Mary Grace does not have eyes that are pleasant to look at, and that reflects on her character. Her unpleasant eyes display her unlikable character. Mary Grace also stares at Ruby Turpin throughout the story and gives her dirty looks. This eventually ends with Mary Grace’s outburst. When Mary Grace is looking at Mrs. Turpin, O’Connor describes her eyes as, “[…] fierce brilliant eyes” (371). The shift in Mary Grace’s eyes is a symbol of Mary Grace releasing her pent-up anger on Mrs. Turpin. Mary Grace’s eyes change because she is changing with them.

Elevating Essay Writing: Delivering Excellence and Literary Distinction

Crafting Essays that Leave a Lasting Impression

In the realm of academic expression, where words have the power to shape ideas and inspire minds, we stand as a beacon of excellence. As dedicated essayists, we take immense pride in our ability to weave words into captivating narratives, enlightening arguments, and thought-provoking analyses. Our journey as essay writers has been one of continuous growth and meaningful impact. Let’s explore some remarkable instances where our expertise has made a significant difference.

Guiding Students Towards Success

Our journey is intertwined with the success stories of numerous students who sought our guidance. In one instance, a struggling undergraduate approached us with an intricate topic in the field of sociology. Through meticulous research and a nuanced understanding of the subject, we formulated an essay that not only secured the student’s academic standing but also ignited their passion for social sciences.

Similarly, a graduate student grappling with the complexities of literary criticism found solace in our expertise. We delved into the depths of literary theory, dissecting texts and exploring nuanced interpretations. The resulting essay not only garnered accolades but also instilled a newfound confidence in the student’s analytical abilities.

Breathing Life into Topics: Examples of Our Endeavors

  1. The Intersection of Technology and Society: In an era dominated by technological advancements, we embarked on an essay that explored the intricate relationship between technology and society. By seamlessly blending sociological insights with technological trends, we created an essay that resonated with readers across disciplines.

  2. Environmental Ethics and Sustainability: With environmental concerns taking center stage, we took on the challenge of crafting an essay that delved into the ethical dimensions of sustainability. Through rigorous research, we presented a compelling argument that not only addressed the urgency of the issue but also proposed actionable solutions.

  3. Literary Analysis: Unraveling Symbolism: Literary works often conceal layers of symbolism. In an essay dedicated to the works of a renowned author, we unraveled the subtle threads of symbolism woven into the narrative. This essay not only celebrated the author’s craftsmanship but also offered readers a deeper appreciation for the written word.

A Tapestry of Literary Accolades

Our dedication to the art of essay writing has not gone unnoticed. Over the years, we have had the privilege of being recognized in esteemed literary competitions that celebrate creativity and intellectual prowess. These accolades serve as a testament to our commitment to delivering essays that transcend the ordinary and venture into the extraordinary.

Literary Award Highlights

  1. Eloquent Prose Prize: Awarded by the Prestigious Wordsmith Guild, this accolade celebrated our mastery over language and the art of storytelling. The essay that earned us this honor explored the nuanced emotions of human existence through a compelling narrative.

  2. Critical Thinker’s Commendation: Presented by the Symposium of Intellectual Thought, this award acknowledged our prowess in critical analysis. Our essay, dissecting the philosophical underpinnings of existentialism, showcased our ability to navigate complex ideologies with finesse.

  3. Literary Luminary Award: Conferred by the Literary Confluence, this award celebrated our contribution to literary discourse. The winning essay, an exploration of the intersection between culture and identity, captured the essence of diverse human experiences.

Conclusion: Pioneering Excellence in Essay Writing

As we reflect on our journey as essayists, we are filled with a profound sense of purpose. Our dedication to delivering exceptional essays that enlighten, engage, and inspire remains unwavering. Through intricate narratives, incisive analyses, and unwavering commitment to the written word, we have carved a niche for ourselves in the realm of academic and literary excellence. Join us as we continue to shape ideas, foster growth, and transcend boundaries through the power of the written essay.

Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” uses eye color to display the character’s qualities. In this particular story, O’Connor uses eye color to evoke an unexpected and sympathetic response from the reader towards the Misfit.

When the Misfit takes off his glasses, he drops the mask, in a way: “without his glasses, the Misfit’s eyes were red-rimmed and pale and defenseless-looking”. The gesture of the grandmother has stirred a humanity that he can’t accept, having always forcefully claimed independence. But O’Connor invites her readers to compare this gesture to the mustard seed: the title hints at this promising resolution—this hope (Lienard and May).

O’Connor is showing how the Misfit is hurting inside and that he is insecure. This description makes the readers sympathize with the Misfit and they are aware of his pain. The description of the grandmother’s brown eyes as radiant tells the readers that she is kind and joyous. This creates a general fondness of the grandmother as a character. The grandmother is very cheerful and has a good attitude even in the darkest times. When the Misfit kills her, the reader is affected because of the loss of her upbeat attitude. Flannery O’Connor describes the character’s eyes because the symbolism and description gives the reader insight into the personalities of her characters.

Another Flannery O’Connor story that uses eyes as symbolism is “Good Country People.” In this story, O’Connor describes most of the character’s eyes, but specifically focuses on Mrs. Freeman’s. When introducing Mrs. Hopewell and Mrs. Freeman, she describes Mrs. Freeman’s eyes as having, “[…] never swerved to left or right but turned as the story turned […]” (350). This reveals a lot about Mrs. Freeman’s character to the reader. The reader now knows that Mrs. Freeman is nosy and gossips. O’Connor also writes that Mrs. Freeman has black piercing eyes, and this shows that she is not an innocent character and does not have the purest intentions. As the reader continues, they learn that Mrs. Freeman strives to look down on people and judge them. The symbolism of Mrs. Freeman’s eyes exhibits her nasty personality and judgmental behavior.

Throughout Flannery O’Connor’s short stories, she consistently uses a character’s eyes as a source to provide understanding of the character as a whole. Whether that be the movement, color, or shape, a character’s eyes are described in the story to display features of their personality or exposure to significant details. The description of a character’s eyes reveals a deeper meaning to their actions. This is a recurring symbol that enhances the short stories. “Revelation,” “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” and “Good Country People,” all include examples of the symbolism of eyes O’Connor uses. Vision and a person’s eyes are an extremely important part of experiencing life that improve everyday existence for most people. A reader is able to understand a character in a profound and more meaningful way when they are made aware of the character’s eye color because as the early known proverb by Cicero (106-43 B.C) states, “The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter,” (McCarthy) a person reveals their emotional state within the first introductory gaze. O’Connor’s repetition of this symbolism allows it to be acknowledged by the reader and utilized in the comprehension of a character.

Click to rate this entry!
(Votos: 0 Promedio: 0)


We will be happy to help you and inform you about any questions.


Leave a Comment