Psychoanalytical Criticism of “a Good Man Is Hard to Find”

1403 Words Nov 22nd, 2010 6 Pages
Psychoanalytical Criticism of “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”

A seemingly innocent family vacation can turn into a disaster if the members of the family only care about themselves. In the story “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” by Flannery O’Connor, a self-absorbed Grandmother, too consumed with her own opinions, fails to address the views, feelings and overall well being of others. Her family is not much different in their self-interested ways. This leads them straight to the Misfit whose childhood trauma has caused him to grow up into a damaged individual. The Misfit does not believe in the Grandmother’s religious beliefs and she ultimately cannot reach out and help him. The characters get themselves into a predicament for living in the Id
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“According to Freud, the unconscious [mind] continues to influence our behavior and experience, even though we are unaware of these underlying influences” (Cherry). So, because of this, he sacrifices humanity to deal with the pain and thinks nothing of it. Another reason for killing his father could be he was suffering from the Oedipal Complex. The Misfit says, “God never made a finer woman than my mother” (O’Connor). The Oedipal Complex would refer that the Misfit has, “fallen in love with one parent and developed hatred for the other” (Gill). His desire for his mother drove him to eliminate his father. Unlike the Grandmother, religion was not a factor for the Misfit. He thought God, “shown everything off balance” (O’Connor). He believed rationally only what he could sense. O’Connor made this one of the Misfit’s greatest faults. To Summarize, the Misfit’s experiences and religious disbelief kept him from being a recognizably “good” person in O’Connor’s eyes. Though the family did not turn to violence like the Misfit, they still had their own set of issues. The other members of the family seem to be embodiments of society’s most self-interested and materialistic. O’Connor illustrates that with each generation of this family, there were no positive role models. Each generation had no effective parent to exhibit the correct way to function in society. Each generation then was stuck in

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