Death, Perspective and Endings in “Killings” and “ A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Death, Perspective and Endings in “Killings” and “ A Good Man is Hard to Find”

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In Andre Dubus’ “Killings” and Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the theme of death is apparent throughout both of the short stories. Both have a plot that revolves around death and murder. They differ because in Dubus’ story the theme of death is obvious because the whole plot revolves around murder, but in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” there are numerous symbols of death as well as a major theme of death. Also, the endings of the stories are of an interesting comparison because they both end in the perspective of a murderer. In “Killings” the reader is left with a depressed feeling and an irresolvable ending, while in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the reader is left feeling like the story was somewhat resolved even after all the gruesome fatality. The endings of these stories leave the reader with opposite feelings and Dubus and O’ Connor show their different outlooks on the world through these endings.
“Killings” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” vary in their point of view. “Killings”, is a story about two murders, told in the perspective of the father whose son has been killed. The father takes it upon himself to have revenge and kill his son’s murderer, Richard Strout. Since it is the father telling the story one can see how all his thoughts are based off the death of his son and the act of killing Strout. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is written from the point of view of a grandmother who is going on a trip with her family. Therefore, there is not always this apparent theme of death throughout the entire story, but that it more just appears in the ending when the perspective switches to “the Misfit”, who is the grandmother’s murderer.
It may seem that because the narrator in “Killings” is in fact, a mu...


... middle of paper ...


...filled with a feeling of remorse. While in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the killing of the grandmother and family is somehow resolved as nicely as possible because the grandmother is filled with a sort of understanding and love for her own murderer, and the murderer does not feel the remorse that the father had felt in “Killings”. Overall, these two short stories can be paired together for their main theme of fatality, but also contrasted because of their opposite in perspective and seemingly opposite endings.




Works Cited
Dubus, Andre. “Killings.” The Bedford Introduction to Literature 9th ed. Michael
Meyer. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s 2011. 103-116. Print.
O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The Bedford Introduction to
Literature 9th ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: Bedford/St Martins 2011. 442-
460. Print.

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