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Egotistical Nightmare In Flannery O’connor’s A Good Man Is Hard To Find

1152 words - 5 pages

John Steinbeck once wrote that, “for the most part people are not curious except about themselves.” This describes various characters in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” almost perfectly. These characters focus on themselves more than anyone else and form beliefs, on which they live by, based off of it. It is uncommon to find positive outcomes following an egotistical action or belief, and this short story proves just that. Thus, throughout this story, the various characters’ egocentric beliefs meet with negative consequences.
Red Sammy believes that he is one of the only good men left in the world, he even remarks on how “a good man is hard to find.” (O’Connor). This causes ...view middle of the document...

The grandmother believes that she knows best, and she believes that being a woman is the most important aspect in life. These egocentric beliefs are shown in one of the first times we see the grandmother. For instance, in paragraph 2, the reader see’s her chattering about going to east Tennessee because the kids have been to Florida already and they need to see different parts of the United States. She also blathers about how great her native state of Tennessee is (O’Connor 15) and how the best way to drive is (O’Connor 11.) when they were on their way to Florida, showing the reader how much she believes that she knows best about everything. In fact, when she is wrong about something, she decides to keep it to herself instead of telling her family (O’Connor 69), which leads them to come across an escaped criminal. Furthermore, she shows the reader her egocentric belief that her being a women is superbly important by dressing in “a navy blue straw sailor hat with bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print. Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned purple spray of cloth violet containing a sachet” on the off chance she and her family would get into an accident (which does happen), because she wanted to make sure everyone knew she was a lady if she lied dead on the highway (O’Connor 11). Moreover, when she and her family cross paths with The Misfit, she cares more about if the murderer will “shoot a lady” (O’Connor 86 and 132) instead of the fact that The Misfit’s cronies are taking her family into the woods (the men and then the women) to be killed (O’Connor 96-133). Proving, once again, how the egocentric beliefs that some characters in this short story hold leads to negative consequences.
The Misfit believes that since cruel, unprovoked evil came onto him it is only right that he does unto others what was done unto him. The reader sees how this egocentric belief came to be by reading about The Misfit’s conviction: “I was never a bad boy that I remembered of, but somewhere along the line I done something wrong and got sent to the penitentiary.” (O’Connor...

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