A Good Man is Hard to Find Essay

“A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a short story written by Flannery O’Connor in 1955 that focuses on the grandmother’s perspective of events - A Good Man is Hard to Find Essay introduction. The story primarily revolves on the humorous portrayal of a family embarking on a vacation. It is a confrontation of a family with violence and surprised death. It says that Flannery O’Connor is one of the best and the most inspiring writer in the Southern authors that captures her own religious beliefs and conviction. The story begins when a typical Southern family is being challenged by the grandmother to take the vacation to Tennessee instead of Florida. She panicked that they might encounter the convicted killer who is being rumored to be heading on the South. The grandmother is unfortunately ignored by the family and firmly decided to take the vacation on Florida.

The short story though it confronts irony and violence reveals the character’s human nature when faced with difficult circumstances. It also depicts how different people perceive and approach religion and God. The short story is bold in a way that it directly pinpoints the frailties and weaknesses of the character.

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The grandmother in the story reflects superficialnes. This reflects when “the next morning the grandmother was the first one in the car, ready to go” despite her strong disagreement for Florida’s trip the other day. The grandmother had on a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print (O’ Connor, 1995). Her primary purpose is for people to recognize her that she’s a lady in case she was found dead. Her actions and behavior can be interpreted as her readiness for death but the family’s encounter with Misfit shows her horror and unreadiness.

The character of Misfit though is opposite to the grandmother’s ignorance and tolerance. Though he was portrayed as the antagonist and villain, O’ Connor portrayed him as a deep person potential to be wise and profound. The Misfit has a much deeper understanding of a religion which he greatly manifested when he “asks the grandmother if it seems right that Jesus was punished and he has escaped punishment”. Misfit revealed mankind at their worst who treated him cruelly. In his conversation with the grandmother he asked a lot of questions about religion that the grandmother superstitiously and ignorantly answered. Misfit who can’t answer his questions metaphysically and spiritually unconsciously relied on the violence of the physical world as a means of escape and survival.  The Misfit is portrayed as a keen observant of the world while the grandmother is portrayed as a devout Catholic who lacks compassion and humility.

The story also revealed how Christianity as a moral and spiritual guidance is no longer a priority. O’ Connor presented the children of Bailey as highly bold, too intuitive and unethical. It is alarming on how the nature of change and time with the liberation and uprising of modernity transform people. The story also stresses the importance of being a good Christian than looking like a good Christian, when the story shows the transformation in the grandmother as the story progresses. One of the most violent portrayals of the grandmother is when she’s trying to protect herself for being murdered even if her family around her struggle to survive from death. It shows her human nature of selfishness who regards her life more than anything else.

The story however has a distracting and violent ending that is vital to fully understand the story. The author purposely created the short story as a way of social awakening about the real essence and meaning of Christianity. Christianity as a religion should give importance to inward transformation than merely outward manifestations. The story also ironically presented how a simple misstep can lead to death and destruction. However, life is a continuous process that has lots of shifting but eventually will lead you to self discovery and self realization. What is sometimes ironic in life if after self realization, there is already no chance to mend oneself the way that happened to the grandmother.

Work Cited Page:

O’ Connor, Flannery. Asals, Frederick 1993. “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Rutgers

            University Press

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