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Examine Responses Of The Main Character(S) To Evil And/Or Evil Impulses: O'connor's "A Good Man Is Hard To Find", And "The Cask Of Amontillado". What Accounts For The Responses To Evil In Each Story?

1269 words - 5 pages

EVILThe Grandmother in Flannery O'Connor's "A Goodman is Hard to Find", fears death. She hopes to convince the Misfit to spare her by begging and telling him that he is a good man and should find Jesus. While the Misfit, who is a convicted murderer, seems to regret murdering the grandmother. In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado", Fortunato the fool also fears his impending death at the hand of the evil Montresor who had borne "The thousand injuries of Fortunato" (Poe 206). But Fortunato had finally gone too far by insulting him. Montresor is unwavering in his pursuit to get revenge on Fortunato. His evil is powered by his pride and his time honoured family motto.The grandmother fears her impending death and is not prepared for it. She believes that she can delay her death by pleading to the Misfit, but her counter-arguments to his complaints are trivial and sound like all purpose memorized responses. She tells The Misfit that "You could be honest too if you'd only try...Think how wonderful it would be to settle down and live a comfortable life and not have to think about somebody chasing you all the time." (O'Connor 202). When she hears that he went to prison, she says "That's when you should have started to pray" (O'Connor 203). She goes on encouraging him to believe in God and to pray, but it becomes clear that she is doing so only in hopes of saving her own life. The grandmother humbled herself and lost the pretenses of her shallow beliefs when confronted with death. If she had been confronted with death every day of her life she would have been a better person.The Misfit is mentally disturbed and justifies his lifestyle by saying that "crime doesn't matter... sooner or later you're going to forget what it was you done and just be punished for it" (O' Connor 203)." He may not have wanted to kill the family at first but the grandmother recognized him. "But it would have been better for all of you, lady, if you hadn't of reckernized me" (O'Connor 201). The grandmother made the biggest mistake of her life by recognizing the Misfit aloud. She says "You wouldn't shoot a lady, would you?" His reply to this is "I would hate to have to" (O'Connor 201). In the end the Misfit's had this to say about the grandmother, "She would have been a good woman if someone had been there to shoot her every minute of her life" (O'Connor 205). This shows that he grasps what he has done and therefore shows that there must be a reason other then reflex surprise for her shooting. The Misfit might have regretted killing the Grandmother. Before he kills the Grandmother, he states that there is "No pleasure but meanness" But after he kills her he says "It's no real pleasure in life" (O'Connor 205). This change is attitude suggests that he is unhappy with having killed her. Yet in between these remarks lie his statement "She would have been a good woman..." (O'Connor 205). Which suggests that he thought what he did was a good thing.Montresor is Poe's evil narrator...

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