Good And Evil Are Bedfellows in Flannery O’Connor A Good Man is Hard to Find
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The Flannery O’Connor story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” illustrates a parallel between the Misfit and the grandmother, showing that good and evil are not mutually exclusive in an individual. The grandmother and the Misfit display a flowing, changing state of character, representative of this shift. Flannery O’Connor develops these two characters on the surface as simply being a good person and a bad person. However, there is more to each character than the surface level, as they exhibit traits that wouldn’t ordinarily seem fitting in regards to what would be expected. It is this complexity in human characteristics that O’Connor takes the time to develop and show the audience the depth of humanity.
William Burke defines the bond…show more content… At Red Sammy’s truck stop, the grandmother converses with Sammy about the lack of good people in the world, blaming the down-turn on others while neglecting her flaws (O’Connor 205). This irony in her character demonstrates the ability an individual has to label themselves, in a vacuum, as good or evil and the effect this can have on those that don’t know that person. In her waning hours, the grandmother, despite the murders of family in the background, attempts to bribe, reason with, and flatter the Misfit in a desperate attempt to save her own life (Evans 6). This same woman had earlier commented on the lack of good people in the world and she has regressed to using whatever means necessary to attempt to preserve her life.
The Misfit acts in self-interest by having the family killed in order to escape the risk of capture after the grandmother identifies him. While this is what is expected of the infamous Misfit, it takes the grandmother exposing his identity to bring it about. Instead of committing the murders initially, as he was notorious for, he had stopped to aide a car that had been flipped and damaged (O’Connor 207). The alternative, and far more illustrative of the evil would have been to have killed them but alternatively to that even, would be for his car to not even have stopped to help the family. However, the Misfit does not view his acts as purely malicious, but rather as a method of making up for the