The Grandmother defines ‘good’ as having the same values that she does: material wealth and appearances. The Grandmother said she would have done well to marry Mr. Teagarden because he was a gentleman and ... a very wealthy man. In this part of the story Grandma covets the wealth and the status that Mr. Teagarden could have provided. In The Melancholy Tyrant: Democracy and Tranny in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the author Mark Mitchell uses psychological criticism to analyze the characters and their relationships with each other. “The old lady’s concerns remain perpetually focused on herself, for as soon as The Misfit consoles her she looks at him and inquires, ‘You wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you?’ The presence of children, her grandchildren, and the obvious danger to them makes this inquiry chilling in its solitary concern. The family is so disintegrated that the natural affection of a mother for her child or a grandmother for her grandchildren seems to evaporate when a real threat presents itself,” (Mitchell 214). The Grandma’s definition of good leads her to value money, material comforts, and appearances ove...
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...ns. The audience is surprised to find out that God forgives and lets her go to Heaven with her family. The readers are passing judgment along with the Misfit and believe that because she cannot justify her sins; she should go to Hell. By using this plot twist the author shows how society has sinned similar to the Grandmother, yet how they can still be saved.
In the journey from life to death, the Grandma’s sins or tragic flaws of Greed, Pride, and Sloth eventually lead to her downfall; however, she sees Jesus and comes to believe in God and continues on to Heaven. Her definition of good along with her egoistical and manipulative nature begins to lead her to her destruction. Fortunately, God has enough grace and forgiveness to give her and she travels to Heaven. O’Conner writes this short story to show society that even thought they sin; they can still be forgiven.
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