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Secular Meaning in a Good Man Is Hard to Find



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    In this article Stanley Renner starts out by comparing a scene from the story “ A Good Man is Hard To Find” to a article in a newspaper piece. “ A Good Man Is Hard To Find” is about a family that is heading to go on vacation to Florida. On their way, the grandmother tells her family she would like to go and visit a old plantation. The son finally agrees and makes the exit down a old dirt road. When the grandmother realizes the plantation is in Tennessee and they were in Georgia, she let out a scream. When she did so, the cat that they bought along jumped on her son’s shoulder making him wreck.

    As the waited along the road an escaped criminal named the Misfit sees them and stops. The misfit talked with the family for only a short while before having his sidekicks take half the family out in the woods and kill them. After they were finished off, the grandmother was left alone talking to the misfit. She was trying her best to convince him not to kill her by telling him that he was a good man and Jesus would help him. The misfit started looking teary eyed and sad as the grandmother told him he was one of her babies and Jesus loved him.

    Then the grandmother reached up and touched his shoulder triggering the man to shoot her three times in the chest. The last thing the misfit had said was “ She would have been a good women if she only had someone there pointing a gun at her every minute of her life. The article in the newspaper was about a young man sexually molesting and killing a eight year old little girl. The police had asked the man why he had killed the little girl ,he had responded by saying “ the little girl had told him God loved him”. So in both stories, it is the assurance of God’s love that precipitated the killings of the old grandma and the little girl.

    One thing that the author of this article is trying to contemplate is whether the grandmother is a heroine or actually the villain. As the grandmother is being held at gun point, it seems as she starts questioning her faith and extends her uncertainty to the man that is about to kill her. As you read into the story you may think the grandmother means well but as you get into the last pages it makes you have second thoughts. It is actually thought that the misfit and the grandmother have some sort of connection to each other. You can see this from the beginning of the story to the end. A Good Man is Hard To find “ makes the reader think that the grandmother plays a role in how the misfit turns out to be. Many people seem to think the grandmother even thinks to herself that she may be responsible for the misfit. The grandmother tries to play off that she is God fearing, hospitable, caring and honest. The way people from the South should act. Even though she acts like that during the story other things she does could mean different. For an example, she tells lies to get her ways, and tells the children if they do not do what she says she will get back at them through revenge.

    She even enjoys seeing the poor colored boy standing along the street because she thinks it something you would see in a old picture. I think the author of this article is actually trying to show us through description of the grandma that she is in fact responsible for the misfit. I think what Stanley is trying to say is that at one point of time the misfit was a good man but corrupt and fake people like the grandmother made him change his ways. He seen that in the society he was living in, people that were corrupt and fake always were ahead of the true good people in the world.

    He realized that people were so self-loving and ignorant that it really did not matter if he did good. He knew it would never get him ahead in the world. I think Stanely is trying to get the point out the supposedly “Good” People in the world made the misfit realize it doesn’t make a difference if he does bad things. This is because even if he would try and do good, he wouldn’t get recognized for it because the society he was living in was only exceptive of detestable and fake individuals. I think this also makes him question God and his faith because I’m sure he wonders why god would make such a world as the one he was living in.

    Secular Meaning in a Good Man Is Hard to Find. (2017, Feb 18). Retrieved from

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