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Examples Of Meanness In A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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Flannery O’Connor is known for her grotesque tales, and “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is no exception. The story follows a family’s journey to Florida and their encounter with a wanted criminal, the Misfit. While the family drives through the woods, the Grandmother startles Bailey, the driver, which causes him to wreck the car. A car stops by the accident, but unfortunately it is the Misfit and his henchmen. The family is quickly killed off by the Misfit’s henchmen, leaving the Grandmother alone trying to persuade the Misfit to not kill her. Following the Grandmother’s epiphany, the Misfit shoots her after she tries to touch him. O’Connor presents the ending in an ambiguous way, asking readers if the Misfit will remain the same criminal he was…show more content…
Before the Grandmother’s death, the Misfit has stated that there is “no pleasure [in life] but meanness” (O’Connor 132). However, after the Grandmother’s death the Misfit removes the “meanness” from his philosophy before and simply declares that there is “no real pleasure in life” (O’Connor 133). O’Connor displays that meanness was taken away from the Misfit after confronting the Grandmother. Thus, murdering the Grandmother did not give the Misfit pleasure, but instead immediately changed his view of life. The Misfit who had stated that there is “no pleasure but meanness” only a few moments ago, reconsidered his personal idea of life to “it’s no real pleasure in life” after committing a crime full of meanness (O’Connor 133). However, his new perspective on life is not the only thing that positively affected him after the Grandmother’s…show more content…
When the Misfit retells the story of why he was put in a federal penitentiary, he claims that he did not commit the crime even though there is evidence that supports he did. He was punished for a crime he did not understand. Now that he has killed the Grandmother, he fully understands the crime he has committed. The Misfit’s philosophy in life is that “crime don’t matter” and you would “be punished for it” (O’Connor 131). The Misfit knows that he will be punished for killing the family. Hence, when he orders his henchmen to “take [the Grandmother] and throw her [with] the others,” he is not trying to hide the evidence. The Misfit accepts his punishment for his crime and respects the Grandmother by letting her die “smiling” besides her family (O’Connor 132). The Misfit places the Grandmother by the rest of the family not to hide the evidence, but allows the Grandmother to die by her close ones. O’Connor shows that the Misfit learned from his previous mistake and accepts what he has done to the Grandmother’s family. Previously, the Misfit forgets the many crimes he had done because the crimes themselves do not affect him at all. The crimes where mundane and a part of his ordinary life. O’Connor states on page 130, that the Misfit has “seen a man burnt alive [and] a woman flogged”. However, the Grandmother’s conversion stood out to the Misfit. Thus, he understands the Grandmother’s epiphany and is in shock of
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