A Good Man Is Hard To Find Essay

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Being raised in a Roman Catholic household, Flannery O’Connor usually writes stories involving religious themes or ideals. Her short story, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” is based around the concept of “Original Sin;” that humans are born sinners due to the fall of Adam. With original sin being the theme of the story, O’Conner suggests that individuals use religion in their times of need for selfish reasons, much like how modern people do today. Mark T. Mitchell’s 2005 article in Perspective of Political Science, “The Melancholy Tyrant,” agrees with this idea of self regard.
The grandmother in this story characterizes herself as a “lady.” That is, she holds herself morally superior to her kin. Knowing that she is going on a road trip, she
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Mitchell sees that The Misfit does not directly reject Jesus, but his help. This in turn causes the old lady to tremble with the thought that he would spare her life (Mitchell 215). Although this can be seen as wrong, we must understand that the Grandmother is, essentially, being a human. As humans, we are selfish by nature, so it is understandable that in a time of great danger, her focus on herself is more prominent. Like stated, any human being would try their best to stay alive; for we are a species of survivors. The only problem in the Grandmother’s case is that her situation doesn’t have the chance of survival.
As a final resort, the old women tries to bribe him, but fails to realize that he could take her money regardless if she lives or dies. Before her death, the Grandmother has a moment of compassion, in which “she touches him in a gesture of love” (Mitchell 216). She becomes better than she was, but her gesture is still rejected by The Misfit with three bullets to the chest. After the murder, The Misfit states that “she would have been a good woman…if [there was someone there] to shoot her every minute of her life,” (O’Connor 687) implying that people are only truly holy if their life depends on it.
Works Cited
Mark T. Mitchell (2005): The Melancholy Tyrant: Democracy and Tyranny in Flannery
O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find", Perspectives

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