In the short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, written by Flannery O’Connor, the theme of the mysterious definition of a “good man” is apparent. The true definition of a ‘good man’ is flawed, but one must also realize that it is difficult to universalize simply because every person is entitled to their own opinion. O’Connor conveys this theme through her excellent use of diction, imagery, foreshadowing, and symbolism as well as through a creative use of repetition and an omniscient point of view. The grandmother, the main character of the story, is manipulative, and in a sense, the definition of a ‘good man’ is referring to her belief of what characteristics a ‘good man’ possesses. From the beginning, the reader is given the indication that the grandmother is determined to get what she wants and will do whatever she can to do so.
God has the power to grant a person grace regardless of the fact if they were unfit to be blessed. Both the grandmother and The Misfit were inadequate to have the opportunity of salvation because the grandmother was manipulative, selfless, and a liar while The misfit was a murderer. So, even though, the grandmother was petty and The Misfit was cruel they, together, found valuable lessons, meanings and moral good that was beyond the world of goods and means (Link 125). The grandmother gets grace at the very end because even though she was alienated, the grandmother was able to experience an epiphany which resulted in her salvation (Keil 45). The Misfit does not fully have God's blessing but seems as if though he is on the way in obtaining it.
What is more telling is what the waitress says while bringing the food: "It isn't a soul in this green world of God's that you can trust… I don't co... ... middle of paper ... ...ot helping the needy, greed, dishonesty)? By finally accepting the priests company after becoming bed ridden we can infer that Mrs. McIntyre has indeed been changed by what the displaced person has taught her and is more willing to accept her past deeds and be forgiven for them. As we can see O'Connor's moral message of religion leading people's concerns away from self-suffering is quite prevalent in most of the stories in A Good Man is Hard to Find. By analyzing stories such as A Good Man is Hard to Find, The Displaced Person, The Artificial Nigger, and Good Country People we can see the representation of religion hidden behind grotesque elements that force the characters towards introspection and change. These interpretations can be taken further as a possible comment of American culture showing sometimes a horrible apocalyptic vision.
Never once as the Grandmother was begging for her life, did she stop and beg for the life of her family. Her tactic to save herself went from “You wouldn’t shoot a lady would you?” (O’Connor), to “You’ve got good blood! I know you come from nice people” (O’Connor), then lastly to “If you would pray, Jesus would help you” (O’Connor). Yet to every beg the Grandmother made, the Misfit was completely honest with her, admitting that he would hate to have to kill a lady, but he would do it, admitting that he did come from good people but that he is not good, and admitting that he does not want Jesus’ help, that he is perfectly fine alone. Because the Misfit was so honest and open about who he was and his flaws, the Grandmother realized that she is not a “Good Man”.
All the while, there is no sincerity within her. She uses deceit and manipulation like war tactics to save herself, while not once pleading for her family members’ lives. The very faith she attempts to thrust upon the Misfit seems to have no real effect on her own actions. If one truly wants to live a life worthy to be called “good,” the Biblical definition provides a simple and concrete instruction: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). Man is born imperfect and flawed, with the tendency to fail.
In the short story A Good Man Is Hard to Find, written by Flannery O’Connor, the theme that the definition of a ‘good man’ is mysterious and flawed is apparent. The reader must realize that it is difficult to universalize the definition of a good man because every person goes through different experiences. Thus, these experiences affect his or her viewpoint and in turn flaw ones view on a good man. O’Connor conveys this theme through her excellent use of diction, imagery, foreshadowing, and symbolism as well as through a creative use of repetition and an omniscient point of view. The grandmother, the main character of the story, is manipulative.
However, her judgement loses any true value it could 've held when it becomes apparent that the only people she deems as being “good people” tend to be the ones who share common interests or can aid her in some way. This undermining quality of her judgement is exemplified when she deems the Misfit to be “a good man at heart” (O’Connor 147) based solely on the fact that he isn’t willing to kill her, a woman. As stated by Arthur F. Bethea, Stephen Brady uses the grandmother’s moral corruption as an attempt to single handedly crush all arguments stating that she is a vessel of grace and capable of passing good
She couldn’t do something wrong like kill someone because she will feel guilty. I can prove that she was religious from the story and from another source about this story. In the book Understanding Franney O’Conner by Whitt, Margaret it says “O'Connor does not create characters who take religion moderat...
A true “good” person would be willing to give up their life to be “good,” and there can be no goal in living life other than being good. The grandmother’s use of religion shows her attempt to persuade the Misfit to ask for God’s forgiveness. The grandmother thinks that God will stand by her side because she “thinks” she is a good person, and nothing shall stand against her. The Misfit refuses to listen and believes that God is to blame for all his evil doings. O’Connor states, "Jesus thrown everything off balance" (O’Connor 211).
In “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, it says “She would of been a good woman, The Misfit said, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life” (430). In “‘One of My Babies’: The misfit and the grandmother”, written by Stephen C. Bandy, it says “The Misfit has already directed the execution of the Grandmother’s entire family, and it must be obvious to all including reader and the Grandmother, that she is next to die” (108). These example justifies that The Misfit does not have any regard for human life. The only people that he has are the two goons that help him murder people. The grandmother sees that The Misfit has never had anyone to take care of him.