Essay on Mercy in Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find

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Finding Mercy in A Good Man Is Hard to Find

In "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," Flannery O'Connor represents her style of writing very accurately. She includes her "themes and methods - comedy, violence, theological concern - and thus makes them quickly and unmistakably available" (Asals 177). In the beginning of the story O'Connor represents the theme of comedy by describing the typical grandmother. Then O'Connor moves on to include the violent aspect by bringing the Misfit into the story. At the end of the story the theme changes to theological concern as the attention is directed towards the grandmother's witnessing. As the themes change throughout the story, the reader's perception of the grandmother also changes.

In the
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She intentionally lies about the house having a secret panel just to get the kids interest so that Bailey would be more likely to stop and visit. The grandmother is also portrayed as being very loud and outgoing. When the family stops at the restaurant, she carries on a conversation with a complete stranger. She also wants to get up and dance.

The reader is almost forced to look at the actions of the grandmother as being similar to that of a young child. There's not a quiet moment with her around and she never sits still. The reader tends to have a negative perception of the grandmother due to these personality traits. However, these traits are expressed in a comical way causing the reader to be annoyed by the grandmother, but also entertained.

As the story progresses, the theme changes from being comical to being violent. Also, the reader's perception of the grandmother becomes more intense . As O'Connor said, "[t]here is a change of tension from the first part of the story to the second where the Misfit enters, but this is no lessening of reality" ("On" 176). The presence of the Misfit causes the story to become more of a mystery; therefore, the actions of the grandmother also become a mystery because the reader doesn't know what to expect from her. It is a surprise to the reader to find the grandmother become so sincere. The grandmother tries many traditional methods to keep the Misfit from killing
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