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Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Flannery O’Connor’s short story is unpredictable, with a soft start but a terrible ending. Right from the beginning, grandmother depicts The Misfit as an irresponsible person and a cold murderer. O’Connor rather abrasively writes the story, but this blatant approach signals to the reader the possibility of revealing an unsettling message. Each family member has individual flaws, from the Misfit to the children who blatantly refuse to respect the elders, which would be a mortal sin in some contemporary societies (O’Connor, 1993). The Misfit, right from the story’s beginning, is shown to be an unremorseful murderer, which portrays the embodiment of evil he is.

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The Misfit and the Grandmother receive grace although they had many blemishes as O’Connor writes the story from a religious perspective. In the beginning, the Grandmother indiscriminately uses the term a good man, but ultimately, it is the Misfit that she calls a good man when she wants a favor from her. The meaning of the word good continues to be skewed, and it is clear that the Grandmother’s use of this word is not morally justified, but she uses it when she thinks that the other person’s values align with hers. It reveals how self-righteous and oblivious the Grandmother is to her world, and she believes she is above everybody on earth and can judge them as she pleases (O’Connor, 1993). At one point, she asks the Misfit to pray, yet she cannot pray coherently; thus, it suggests the trait of self-absorption in her.

The two characters, the Grandmother and the Misfit, do not deserve God’s grace because they are not good people. Nevertheless, in the end, the Misfit proves she is religious by desiring to know what Jesus did, which at once awakes the grandmother from her self-righteousness’ slumber (O’Connor, 1993). She then suddenly becomes compassionate, a rare emotion in her life, while the Misfit realizes that killing is no longer a good practice, suggesting that the only way to be a good man is through the grace of God.

Reference

O’Connor, F. (1993). “A good man is hard to find”. Rutgers University Press.

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StudyCorgi. "Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”." August 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/flannery-oconnors-a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-essay-examples/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”." August 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/flannery-oconnors-a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-essay-examples/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”'. 4 August.

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