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Comparison of Freedom and Self-Acceptance in Beloved, Secrets and Lies, and Cuckoo’s Nest

Freedom and Self-Acceptance in Beloved, Secrets and Lies, and Cuckoo’s Nest What is freedom? If you ask different people, you get different answers. Some say its being able to do whatever you want. Other people say it’s when you don’t have to do anything. Many things in life have no absolute answer. When people talk about freedom, they talk about it physically, for example not having to be in chains, or confined in a cell. But I think it is more common to find someone mentally enslaved, than physically enslaved. I found an interesting quote from Charles Kingsley that said there are two freedoms -the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where a man is free to do what he ought ( This is the best way I can describe it. There are two major obstacles that can stop us from achieving true freedom: the past, and what other people think. These obstacles can effect even something as simple as wondering what to wear tomorrow. If you’re asking what will people think if I wear this, even this is a hindrance. The appropriate thing would be to say; I like this outfit, so I will wear it. Even though this is a relatively minor example, This is where it begins. Peer pressure is a result of what people will think. “What will people think if I don’t drink with them?” “What will people think if I don’t ditch class with them?” These are examples that can block the road to freedom. The past is another obstacle on the road to freedom. Many people have suffered abuse, neglect, or a breakup between their parents. It is obvious that your childhood experiences can effect the rest of your life. An example would be if your mother physically abused you as a child. There are two ways to react to this. As an adult you may be a quiet withdrawn person and let people walk on you. Or you can be a bitter person with a temper, being exactly what you swore not to be. These are two extremes. In my own experiences I have found my dad is not very emotional, and is slow to compliment. Thus, when someone gives me a compliment, I’ll laugh, or make a joke. Why? The situation feels awkward because I’m not use to it, so I have to cover it up with a joke.

The Power Of Good And Evil in Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find

The Power Of Good And Evil in Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find

Good and bad. Right and wrong. Guilty and Innocent. These are just a few of the many themes that surround everyone’s life. Everyone has their own opinion about certain issues, and they depend on their values, judgment, and beliefs to see them through their difficulties. Flannery O’Connor was quoted as saying “I see from the standpoint of Christian orthodoxy. This means the meaning of life is centered in our Redemption by Christ and that what I see in the world I see in relation to that” (Contemporary Authors 402). These themes are present in O’Connor’s story “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The story is about a grandmother, a “good” woman who goes on vacation with her son and his family and suffers terribly due to her poor judgement, and beliefs, but learns the true meaning of “good” in the face of something “bad.”

The grandmother lives with her only son, Bailey, his wife and their children. The beginning of the story the grandmother is preparing to take a trip with her son?s family to Florida; a place where she doesn?t even want to go. She wants the whole family to go to Tennessee to visit relatives (O?Connor 907).This is the first example of the egocentric ways that lead her to her demise. She wants to uproot the whole family ,only for her benefit. She also does not want to go to Florida because there is a escaped convict, an evil man, on the loose. She says, “The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to those people” (O?Connor 907). Critic Richard Spivey explains the use of violence in O?Connor?s work: “O?Connor dealt with violent and grotesque people because “man has in his…

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Drake, Robert. “The Bleeding Stinking Mad Shadow of Jesus in the Fiction of Flannery O?Connor. Comparative Literature Studies. University of Illinois. 1966. Vol. 3. 183-196.

Gilbert, Muller, H. Nightmares and Visions. Flannery O?Connor and the Catholic Grotesque. University Press. University of Georgia Press. 1977. 125.

Hamblen, Abigail Ann. Flannery O?Connor?s Study of Innocence and Evil. University Press. University of Mississippi. 1968. 295-297.

McCown, Robert. Flannery O?Connor and the Reality of Sin in the Catholic World. Missionary Society of St. Paul, NY. 1959. Vol. 188. 285-291.

O?Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The Harper Anthology of Fiction. Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York. HarperCollins, 1991. 907-917.

Stephens, Martha. The Question of Flannery O?Connor. Ed. University Press. Louisiana State Press, 1973. 189-205.

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