Theme Of A Good Man Is Hard To Find By Flannery O Connor

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Being raised under devout Catholic parents, Flannery O’Connor grew up with a strong sense of moral values. By a young age, she learned the standard of right from wrong through her practice of Catholicism. O’Connor utilizes her strong grasp of morality in her writings to demonstrate the decline of ethical standards. In A Good Man Is Hard To Find, O’Connor depicts the lack of moral judgement among people. Throughout the story, the theme of moral decay is expressed by the characters of the grandchildren, the grandmother and The Misfit. Flannery O’Connor uses the character traits of the grandchildren to depict the theme of moral decay. Throughout the story, John Wesley and June Star’s behavior disregards the standard of courtesy when speaking…show more content…
Although, the Misfit is introduced toward the end of the story, his conversation with the Grandmother indicates he has no awareness of why the punishments for his wrongdoings were so severe. While speaking to the Grandmother he states that “‘[he] calls [himself] the Misfit [..] because [he] can’t make what [he did] wrong fit [in with what] he [went] through in punishment’’’(O’ Connor 26). The Misfit is an objectively awful person; not only for murdering countless victims, but for believing that since he is completely outside conventional morals his harsh punishment is undeserving. By Misfit labeling himself outside moral conduct he has no boundaries for his deeds because he has no value of right from wrong. Furthermore, the Misfit does not have any sympathy or regret for those he murders and simply forgets his wrongdoings. While speaking to the grandmother the Misfit reveals that “‘[he] can do one thing or [...] another, kill a man or take a tire off his car, because sooner or later [he is] going to forget what [he had done] and just be punished for it.’”(O’Connor 25). The Misfit’s inability to understand the purpose of consequences reveals his insanity. His psychological issues are a key factor that institutes his horrific actions. The Misfit’s lack of psychological help contributes to the decay of his morality because with an unstable mind he is unable to grasp moral values whatsoever. In addition, the Misfit expresses himself strictly through violence. During the conversation between the Grandmother and the Misfit, he states that ‘“[t]hen it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can—by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness.”’ (O’Connor 27). Since the Misfit had to suffer through the cruelty of his punishments, he no longer believes in conventional morals and sees that the only
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