A good man is hard to find analysis

819 WordsMar 23, 20144 Pages
3/4/12 “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Analysis EN 102 In the short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the author, Flannery O’Connor communicates literary symbols and prominence of Southern culture. Within the story, there are subtle yet important details that make the entirety of the piece as iconic as it is. The reoccurring theme of being a lady and moral codes both are important to the overall concept of the story. The unnamed grandmother in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” considers herself morally superior to others by her being a “lady,” and she freely and frequently passes judgment on other people within the story. She claims that her conscience is a guiding force in her life, such as when she tells Bailey that her…show more content…
Only when the grandmother is facing death, in her final moments alone with the Misfit, does she understand where she has gone wrong in life. Instead of being superior, she realizes, she is flawed like everyone else. When she tells the Misfit that he is “one of [her] own children,” she is showing that she has found the ability to see others with compassion and understanding. With his violent killing, the Misfit seems an unlikely source to look to for guidance, but he demonstrates a deep conviction that the other characters lack. Unlike the grandmother, who simply assumes that she is morally superior to everyone else, the Misfit seriously questions the meaning of life and his role in it. He has carefully considered his actions in life and examined his experiences to find lessons within them. He has even renamed himself because of one of these lessons, believing that his punishment didn’t fit the crime. He reveals a self-awareness that the grandmother lacked and questions it. He knows he is not a great man, but he also knows that there are others worse than him. He forms rudimentary philosophies, such as “no pleasure but meanness” and “the crime don’t matter.” The Misfit’s philosophies may be morally corrupt, but they are consistent. Unlike the grandmother, whose moral code falls apart the moment it’s challenged, the Misfit has a steady view of life and acts according to what he believes is right. His beliefs and actions
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