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A Good Man is Hard To Find: “Good” When Faced With Conflict

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According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, there are eighty-one entries for the small and seemingly simple word, “good.” The first definition given defines “good” as an adjective meaning “of a favorable character or tendency” ("Good"). In this case a “good person” must be someone who exhibits those qualities of “favorable character.” In the world of today, a subject of much debate has been the concept of what qualifies a person as a “good person.” In Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the unnamed grandmother struggles to discover an individual with the traits of a “good person” both in others and ultimately, in herself. This is apparent when the grandmother suddenly repents and her “good” qualities show when the Misfit has a gun pointed to her head. “Good” qualities are found in a person if he is faced with a conflict. Flannery O'Connor uses dark humor, grotesque characters and situations, and religious themes to lead the readers to an epiphany about their faith and their belief in God.

Flannery O'Connor uses dark humor and grotesque situations to grasp the reader’s attention. O’Connor was born into a Catholic family in the predominantly Protestant Georgia. She learned shortly after her college education was complete that she suffered from lupus, an autoimmune disease that had killed her father ten years earlier (Meyer). She uses the dark humor and the grotesque characters and situations because she felt that people were actually truer and became “good” people when faced with conflicting situations. Her characters experience horrific moments that eventually leads to an epiphany. The belief in miracles and the “good” in people is what all people want to discover in others, but for many ...

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