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A Path To Enlightenment Essay

1026 words - 5 pages

If you knew your moment was coming soon what would you do? Would you go out and party it up or would you repent every second leading up to your last breath? People go throughout life not knowing when their last moment will be. For the Grandmother in Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find, religion was her last resort to save her own skin. Before embarking on a family trip, the grandmother did everything in her power to change the mind of her son, Bailey, with whom she lived, about the location of their destination. She went so far as to bring up a newspaper article she had read about an escaped convict named The Misfit. Little did she know that in the end she her hypocritical ways ...view middle of the document...

All these minor factors lead to her misfortune.
What a coincidence that the fate that the grandmother spoke of, in the first paragraph of the story, would turn out to be their destiny. Like most people, The Misfit started off as a decent fellow; He had been held the same jobs as men of a middle class society:
I was a gospel singer for a while. I been most everything. Been in the arm service, both land and sea, at home and abroad, been twict married, been an undertaker, been with the railroads, plowed Mother Earth, been in a tornado … (Caverlee 947)
“He is the only charismatic figure in these pages … In one sense, The Misfit is a co-hero” (Caverlee 947). Some would say that The Misfit was just a bad guy, but he is simply acutely aware of the injustices in the world. He feels that since he had been punished, for some things he had done and some he had not, that others should feel that same pain. “Indeed we are spellbound, laughing and wincing at his eerie language until the moment he reminds us of his horrific potential” (Caverlee 947).
The Misfit is a questionable, yet unlikely character for the grandmother sudden salvation. The reader would never conclude that a fugitive of his stature would be the source of redemption. He makes a very valid point, after the slaughter of six innocent people. Most people on death row are born again Christians, because for most the moment of enlightenment does not come until death is the foreseeable future. “She would have been a good woman if it had been somebody to shoot here every minute of her life” (O’Connor 942). In the dialogue leading to the end the grandmother still leans on her hypocritical ways while begging and pleading for her own life while the rest of her family is lead into...

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