Flannery O'Connor's Stories

Contrasts between A Rose for Emily and A Good Man Is Hard to Find College

The past plays a large role in William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily, as well as in Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Both short stories involve women who bring up – and sometimes focus on – the past and how the world used to be. However, the usage of mentioning past events and how these women change are very different, in action and execution. Emily Grierson, from Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily, wanted to live her life in the past. However, the grandma, from O’Connor’s tale A Good Man Is Hard to Find, just alludes to moments from her past that are better than her current situation. The past and change have a correlation, and these two stories prove so. The following displays of the past truly change these women, more for the worse than the better.

In A Rose for Emily, Emily Grierson was a woman who was beautiful in her youth, but her father refused to let her marry or even get close to a man; the townspeople “remembered all the young men her father had driven away” when he was alive (Faulkner, 81). She lived the rest of her life without a father, a mother – an unmentioned character in the narrative – and no husband. Emily was not completely without family, however: she had two cousins, and “old lady Wyatt, her...

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