Tania Pacheco English 1A Mrs. Solorzano Essay #4 November 8, 2010 Literary Analysis on “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” “Jesus! ” the old lady cried. “You’ve got good blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus you ought not shoot a lady. I’ll give you all the money I’ve got! ” In the story “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” the major theme is the theme of religion. The story is about a family that ends up going on a vacation to Tennessee, instead of Florida because the grandmother wants to go there.
On their way the grandmother directs them to a dirt road, which she claims had a house that was pretty amazing with a secret panel. When to far in she realizes they are in the wrong place its not in Georgia but in Tennessee. It is to late they get in a car accident fortunately all of them are fine, but they come against the famous “Misfit,”(O’Connor) which happens to be a criminal that has escaped from jail and is on the loose and is very dangerous. The grandmother recognizes him and everything goes down hill for them at that point.
In the end the poor family ends up getting killed. The main points in this story are Grace, and the way the word “Good” is misinterpreted by the grandmother. The grandmother tries to use grace as a way of not getting killed by the “Misfit. ” (O’Connor) “God has the power to allow even bad people to go to heaven, which he does by granting them grace”(sparknotes. com). The grandmother talks about how God raised the dead and gave them life again, then she completely changes the topic and starts pleading for her life again.
The grandmother also uses grace by saying to the Misfit, “Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children! ” (O’Connor). The misfit is not literally her own child; it’s just a way of getting him to understand that they are both human beings. At this point God has granted the grandma grace just before she dies. The misfit is also granted grace, he had mentioned that there was “no pleasure but meanness” (O’Connor) in life, but now at the end of the story he denies that there is any pleasure in life at all.
The Misfit realizes that there is no fun in killing people, and he may be able to change is ways for a better life. “A Good Man” (O’Connor). In this story there are two different aspects of a good man. First of all there is one good man that is mentioned in the story, which the grandmother calls Red Sammy a good man. Red Sammy was considered a good man because he let those couple of strangers charge their own gasoline. In the other hand the grandmother refers the Misfit, as being a good man also, despite the fact that he’s a criminal whom she knows is about to kill her family and her.
In this case the grandmother has the meaning of a good man all wrong, these people are not good at all. One is a poor judgment, blind faith guy, and the other is a who never agrees that he will not kill her. In “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”(O’Connor), the most important theme discussed is the theme of religion. The theme of religion is found at the end of the story when the grandmother is trying to plead for her life. Grace is used a lot in this story as a way of getting to the heart of the Misfit, and convincing him not to kill the grandmother, which obviously did not work.
There is also misinterpreting of the word “Good. ” The grandmother refers to the Misfit and Red Sammy as being good men when obviously they are the absolute opposite of “Good. ”
Works Cited O’Connor, Flannery. A Good Man Is Hard to Find :. San Francisco: Harvest, 1955. Print. “SparkNotes: A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Themes, Motifs, and Symbols. ” SparkNotes: Today’s Most Popular Study Guides. Web. 08 Nov. 2010. <http://www. sparknotes. com/short-stories/a-good-man-is-hard-to- find/themes. html>.