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A Good Man Is Hard To Find

1218 words - 5 pages

Fiction Assignment
In A Good Man is Hard to Find, O’Connor displays to us the theme of an unsympathetic character that is surprisingly touched when one of his victims of his senseless crimes tries to convert him and persuade him to not kill her. With O’Connor’s Catholic influenced writing, a closer look through the short story shows the theme of unlikely, undeserving characters finally understanding the error of their ways and knowing that they could change, through the help and belief of religion. At the end of the story we see irony along with a sort of justice to the killing of the grandmother, who led her family down on a trip to their death because she was insistent of reliving and ...view middle of the document...

Red Sam and the grandmother don’t seem to understand that trusting strangers wholly based on their appearance is foolish, regardless what the time period is.
Wishing to see the plantation, so she can be reminded of her favorite times, the grandmother devises the lie of a silver filled secret panel in the house to recruit the children’s help of persuading her son to drive them there. On the way to the alleged location of the plantation, the grandmother realizes her mistake of the location and indirectly causes the car accident. She had planned for a car accident by remarking that she dressed like a lady for recognition of being a lady. Shortly after the accident, the other unsympathetic character shows up. Ironically it is the Misfit that the lady had warned of. The grandmother uselessly tries to appeal to him by saying he looks to be a good man from nice people. She is saying this to a runaway criminal with a gun in his hand. Obviously, she is trying to bring him around to being good but the Misfit is quick to see that she is just trying to save herself. Even though he is the criminal, O’Connor shows us that he can still see the error of other people’s ways but not understand his wrong actions and why he does them.
After her family is disposed of, the grandmother tries to reason with the Misfit and convince him to pray and believe in Jesus. The Misfit tells her his dismal view on life and how he thinks Jesus threw off the balance of life. He tells her if Jesus did raise the dead then she should look forward to losing her life and following Jesus. He then says that if Jesus didn’t, then everyone should just enjoy their time by doing meanness, which is summed up by his phrase, “No pleasure but meanness.”(309) This dazes the old woman because she thinks that this man is committed to his ways and she sinks to the ground, dizzy and overwhelmed. She can’t seem to pray at all and starts to eat her words on Jesus and religion. The Misfit is overcome with anger at his not being able to know the truth and tells her that he would not be the way he was if he did know. The grandmother is encouraged by this display of humanity and touches him, to only get quickly shot by him, which is her justice for not even pleading for her family’s lives.

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