"A Good Man Is Hard To Find:" Religious Negligence

1209 words - 5 pages

“’She would of been a good women, ‘The Misfit said, ‘if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life’”(6). Flannery O’Connor grew up in southern Georgia where she was raised in a prominent Roman Catholic family. O’Connor endured hard times in life when her father died of lupus erythematous, which she was diagnosed with later in life. These life events influence her writing greatly. She uses her religion and gothic horror in her writings to relay a message to people that may be on the wrong path, in an attempt to change it. The author wrote during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Flannery O’Connor wrote “Everything That Rises Must Converge” and “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”.
“A Good Man Is Hard To Find” was written in 1953. The story demonstrates a broken family who can barely tolerate each other, going on a trip to Florida. Coincidentally, The Misfit has escaped from prison and is headed in the same direction as them. The grandmother continually attempts to persuade Bailey, her son, to go to destination that is not on their agenda. The only exception to their deviation of their route leads to The Misfit, who is a symbol of the grandmother’s salvation and the reality of everyone’s death. An individual’s misconstrued truth about their identity can falsify and taint their religion, therefore, leading them to beg for salvation. For example, in “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”, the grandmother manipulates everyone, compares the past to the present, and believes so passionately in her “lady hood” that it becomes her religion.
The grandmother has a crafty mind when it comes to getting her way. She manipulates everyone, mainly her family to get what she wants. She does this because in her time period it is what was required of women to get what they wanted, similar to a way of life. She “…was seizing at every chance to change Bailey’s mind” (1), because she wanted to go to Tennessee rather than Florida. For example, ‘“Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida…”’ (1), she explains while conjuring up a plan to change Bailey’s mind. In reality, no one would change their plans because of a prisoner that has escaped and is headed in the same direction as them, because chances of running into them are slim to none. She uses this newspaper article to alter Bailey’s decision of where they will travel on their trip. In another attempt to get what she wants, the old lady manipulates the children to visit an old house she recalled from her younger years. For instance, “‘There was a secret:-panel in this house,’ she said craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were…” (3). Because of her past experience with her grandchildren, she knew that if she lied to them about this secret panel, they would scream and holler until they went to explore this old mysterious house. She manipulates her role as a grandmother to once again get what she wants. Lying to people and manipulating...

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