Moral Code In A Good Man Is Hard To Find

A Good Man is Hard to Find is a short story about each person’s differing moral codes-good and bad- and the effect that they have on a person’s daily actions and decisions. This is a classic story of good versus evil. The main theme of the story is the true definition of a “good man”. Each person has his or her own definition, but which one is correct? Another theme in the story is grace. The grandmother shows the Misfit grace, regardless of his moral code. Almost everything in this story is a symbol. All of these symbols come together to create a very ominous tone. There is a very clear imagery of death throughout the story. There is also very obvious foreshadowing throughout the story that points towards death in the conclusion. The grandmother…show more content…
Someone might believe that the moral code they have set for themselves is good because it is based on these outside factors such as religion or the teachings of parents, so therefore it must be right. This is why the grandmother believes that her moral code is good. She believes that in order to be a good person that you must demonstrate an upholding of the moral code she has built. A person might also believe that what they are doing is okay because their moral code has been warped by physiological factors. The misfit feels that he must give his life meaning. He says that he thinks about Jesus a lot, but since he doesn’t know for sure that he is real, he decides to give his life meaning in a different way- by murdering people. In his mind, what he is doing is not wrong. He believes that the morally correct thing to do is to kill these people in order to give his life meaning. There is no guarantee of an afterlife for any human, only the guarantee of the life we currently have, so why not leave behind a legacy? Is what the misfit doing really wrong? These are the kinds of questions that O’ Connor leaves the reader to reflect on. The Misfit is only trying to leave his mark on the world just like everyone else, and killing just happens to be his way of doing it. O’ Connor wants the reader to consider that just maybe he is not a bad…show more content…
This death imagery creates an ominous tone for the reader. She uses many different elements to foreshadow the deaths of all six family members in the conclusion of the story. She also uses a great deal of irony. The grandmother puts her hat on before the family leaves in case anything were to happen to them. She wants people to know for sure that she is a lady when her body is found if something does happen and she dies. When she does die in the conclusion of the story, she ironically does not even have her hat on, as she has let it fall to the ground. The grandmother also tells the family about the misfit before they leave. She says “I wouldn’t take my grandchildren in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it” (O’ Connor 852). Yet, ironically, it is her directions that lead the entire family right to the misfit. She asks John Wesley what he would do if the Misfit were to catch him. John Wesley replies, “I’d smack his face” (O’ Connor 853). However, when captured by the Misfit, John Wesley does not move a muscle. On the drive there, the family passes six graves, foreshadowing the deaths of all six family members that are in the car. When they see the Misfit’s car, it is described as a hearse, which dead people are carried in. Throughout the story, the grandmother seems to judge whether a person is good or bad based on physical appearance and behavior. After the family’s car

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