While the world spins, evil has started to become stronger than good. Nowadays, the news is clustered by story after story of evil conquering this world. Turning on the news in today’s world, all one would hear about is sexual assault, murders or kidnappings. Due to these horrible things, the news allows a mental block of all the good in the world and the broadcast is normally just all evil things. In the story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor uses the fundamentals of good vs. evil to show that evil will prevail within a character if they allow it. The characters even allow themselves to form a mental block. This mental block allows them to only think in a complete one-sided and not consent any good escape from within them. O’Connor uses The Misfit and the grandmother, and her son, Bailey in the story to show how the internal conflict can be hidden deep inside until life becomes strenuous.
In the story, The Misfit is a criminal that has escaped Federal Prison. His character becomes very significant when he comes across the family in a car crash. When he has a conversation with the grandmother, the reader begins to see that within The Misfit, he gives a glimpse of what he is thinking. During the conversation, The Misfit says, “I never was a bad boy that I remember of, but somewhere along the line I done something wrong and got sent to the penitentiary” (191). While The Misfit’s immoral actions are never revealed to the reader it is revealed that he completely blocks out his recollection of his actions. The grandmother is repeatedly asking him, but he says he does not remember and that the government just threw him in there. Since The Misfit is constantly saying that he did not do what the government said, he is letting the evil side of internal conflict win. While talking to her, The Misfit has a small glimpse of good trying to break through, but he immediately cuts it off and allows the evil within to completely overpower it. He puts a complete mental block on everything good within the world and how he believes good will never be within him.
As for the grandmother, the reader receives hints of the evil from within her throughout the story. She is constantly nagging her son, Bailey, that they should be going to Tennessee, instead of Florida. Then, she constantly nags Bailey to take them to the “house” that is supposedly there. Throughout the story, the reader sees that the grandmother acts as a know-it-all. She tries to justify that her bossiness is because of the fact she is a mother and mothers know best. However, in this case, she just comes off as a rude and inconsiderate person. Not only does she act as a know-it-all, but she also comes off as judgmental towards the way that her son raises his kids. When the whole family is at The Tower for lunch, the grandmother says, “Aren’t you ashamed?” (186). The grandmother hisses at Bailey’s wife after the daughter, June Star, is rude to Red Sam’s wife. The grandmother acts like she is all high and mighty: however, she does the same thing that The Misfit does. She sets a mental block in her brain. She thinks that everything she does is good and for the better. However, she is acting evil without any acknowledgement of these occurrences. Therefore, The Misfit and the grandmother just create a mental block and allow evil to prevail.
Within the story, there are many other characters that allow a mental block to take over and consent the evil. Bailey, the father of the family, is a perfect example. He seems to be a very hard-headed person. He never lets the grandmother talk him out of anything. The vibe the reader receives is that he is very stubborn and set in his ways. Every time he talks to his mother he appears very rude and condescending. “if you don’t want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home” (184). The quote and many others can be found to show his cocky attitude. If he would allow the good to show through he could have had a better attitude instead of the one he has.
Not only can this mental block be seen within the story, but it can also be seen within the real world. Nowadays, the news is littered with the evil of the world. These evils consist of rape, child molestation, gang shootings, and many types of drug problems. Within recent times, these stories have been becoming more abundant with the news. It is as if the news networks are putting a mental block on the population to show that evil is prevailing in the current status of the world. Since the world has become so corrupt all the stories people are reading are becoming similar to stories on the news.