A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O' Conner Essay

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O' Conner Essay

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“Evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name 'evil.” Saint Augustine said this after much research and deep thought because evil is not easily defined. Evil comes in several forms and carried out in many ways, so that to point at one person and name them as the purist of evil is impossible. However, some traits of a person doing “bad” are recognizable. In “Good Country People” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Flannery O' Conner depicts evil as a mutation; however, the identity of the mutation is not limited to a common standard of evil.
O' Conner characterizes evil with the possession of power by giving the antagonists the upper-hand. The Misfit got out of his car with men and guns, obviously controlling the situation and manipulating the family's future. He sent them into the woods to be killed with no opposition to his instructions. The first people he chose to get rid of were the ones causing him the most trouble. Bailey was uncooperative, so he had to go first so The Misfit could finish his business. This use of power left the family defenseless and ultimately they were destroyed. Manly Pointer also dominates his victim in “Good Country People”. He seduces Hulga to the point that she is ready to surrender to him and he convinces her to remove her leg. She is uncomfortable and dependent on him while he continues to manipulate her. Finally, he takes her wooden leg, leaving her vulnerable and powerless. Taking an individual's independence and establishing oneself over the person aggravates the morals of modern society. These two criminals became dictators of the moment and threw away the right of respect people have; this tainted them. The control The Misfit and Pointer had over their victims is jus...


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...e realizes that the pretender and stealer of her leg believes nothing, how could she? She blurts out to him, “aren't you just good country people” before she realizes that she has believed in good country people all along. In a way, Manly Pointer is the most cruel for destroying Hulga's sense of identification.
The grandmother reached out to The Misfit and symbolically she touched his soul. He kills her; however, he is changed. As the last sentence of the story, The Misfit says, “It's no real pleasure in life.” He shows a little remorse and seems disturbed by what he has done this time. Manly Pointer only run across the horizon gleefully with his new prize. He gloated in Hulga's face about deceiving her and he even humbled her by telling her she is not the only one he has tricked. He demonstrated no remorse for his action and even seemed proud of what he had done.

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