Imperfection And Faith In A Good Man Is Hard To Find And Good Country People

2057 words - 8 pages

Knowing Flannery O’Connor’s religious conviction, one cannot overlook this underlying tone in both of her regarded stories “A Good Man is hard to Find” and “Good Country People”. It is often said of those who stand outside of religious conviction that faith seems to come in handy to people only when it is valuable to get them out of a predicament, of which they have likely placed themselves through insensitive behavior and decisions. In such a desperate attempt to appeal to faith, one only finds emptiness and a fate that leaves them hopeless or even dead. O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Good Country People” illustrate that the inability to see the flaws in one’s self lead to substantial consequences, where an appeal to faith is by then too late.
In “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, the grandmother is far from an exemplary matriarch, seeming to find room for selfishness in every word and action. From the first sentence, “The Grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida”, the reader sees that it is the grandmother who places her wishes above that of her family and anyone else. Her closest attempt at genuine concern for those other than herself is as she tells Bailey of the Misfit, which serves to subtly indicate the doom to come for the family. However, even in warning her son about the news story, she uses it to inject doubt into him, knowing that she could use it to persuade him to take them to Tennessee instead, and commenting that if she were to place her family in harm’s way she “couldn’t answer to [her] consciousness if [she] did” (9). Bailey unfortunately does not heed such warning, and the grandmother’s selfishness continues; knowing that Bailey did not want to bring the cat, Pitty Sing, on the trip, she hides it underneath her black valise, a symbol that also appears in “Good Country People”. By bringing the cat on the trip, the grandmother is unknowingly sealing the fate of her entire family.
The grandmother’s bigotry is also on display as the family rides past a black youth standing near his modest home. Her reaction to seeing him is like walking past an adorable dog; “Oh look at the cute little pickaninny!” (12). When her granddaughter June Starr comments on the boy’s lack of clothing, the grandmother explains that “little niggers in the country don’t have things like we do” (12). As the grandmother emits racism through her comments, she is also inserting such notion into her grandchildren’s minds. Nor Bailey or his wife says anything, so it can be suggested that they are used to such comments and may hold the same views as well. The grandmother does not see a reason to be empathetic; the boy waves and she does return the gesture. Instead she romanticizes the boy’s plight as a missed opportunity, suggesting that “If [she] could paint, [she’d] paint that picture” (12).
Not only is the grandmother intolerant, but she is also quite vain, with an entire paragraph illustrating her choice of clothing for the road trip. Most people...

Find Another Essay On Imperfection and Faith in A Good Man is Hard to Find and Good Country People

Comparison of A Good Man is Hard to Find and A Good Man is Hard to Find

1380 words - 6 pages other people. This is a moral lesson that we should learn and try as hard to always consider the affairs and statuses of other people before putting ours ahead.ReferencesFlannery, O. (1992) A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories Chicago: Houghton Mifflin HarcourtDagoberto. G, (2004) Love in L.A. Chicago: Cengage Learning

Comparison of A Good Man is Hard to Find and A Good Man is Hard to Find

1380 words - 6 pages other people. This is a moral lesson that we should learn and try as hard to always consider the affairs and statuses of other people before putting ours ahead.ReferencesFlannery, O. (1992) A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories Chicago: Houghton Mifflin HarcourtDagoberto. G, (2004) Love in L.A. Chicago: Cengage Learning

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

1073 words - 4 pages might have seen so many bad doings that, they are use to it and might think that it is right. One is not born with a vision of knowing what is wrong and what is right in life, but learns when something happens to them or when people try to teach them what is right or wrong. Also in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" there is a lot of conflict of religion. At one point grandma is saying "oh Jesus" the readers are not sure if she is praying or cursing. As

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

1157 words - 5 pages “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, “The Grandmother, who is portrayed as a self-centered, judgmental, self-righteous and hypocritical protestant, sees the humanity of the “Misfit” and calls him one of her “babies”.” (Dean 1260.) This shows you how the presence of god can affect those who believe in him and accept him as their savior. The level of righteous necessary to reach prosperity in the after life is not measured in how many sermons one has

"A Good Man is Hard to Find"

1363 words - 5 pages A good man is hard to find, and there are good and bad people in everyday settings. Flannery O'Conner is the author of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" in which there are many instances where people disrupt lives of others by great amounts. O'Connor chooses a theme for every story that she holds on to throughout the book, but in the "Displaced Person" everything is twisted around and completely changed. "The Displaced Person" is the antithesis of

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

587 words - 2 pages Have you ever assumed that someone is a really nice person, but once you got to know the person you realized that you were wrong? In "A Good Man is Hard to Find" the Wesley family and their grandmother are on their way to Florida. Along the way, the grandma was explaining to her son, Bailey that she did not want to go to Florida because there was an escaped convict, whom they called Misfit, on the loose. It had been suspected that he was headed

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

554 words - 2 pages A Good Man Is Hard To Find The story "A Good Man is Hard To Find" begins with a family planning to take a vacation to Florida. The grandmother who does not want to take the vacation in Florida is persuading the family. She has read about a crazed killer by the name of the Misfit, who is on the run, heading for Florida. The mambas of her family ignore the grandmother. On the day of the trip, ironically, the grandmother is dressed in her

A Good Man is Hard to Find

1171 words - 5 pages “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” One theme that is talked about is prejudice and tolerance. It is pointed out that the Grandmother, through her words, demonstrates racial and class prejudice. An example is given when the Grandmother says “Oh look at the cute pickaninny!” she continues saying “Little niggers in the country don't have things like we do.” Another theme that is identified is God and religion. ------ points out, that like many of

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

2579 words - 10 pages gothic work did not always explain horror like this, holding little moral value to contrast their grotesque images (notes, November 1). O'Connor's stories do include a strong moral element, frequently in the form of religious explanations. The characters within A Good Man is Hard to Find are usually ignorant and self-satisfying people, who come across "the grotesque" and are shocked into self-realization, no longer self-satisfied. These

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

932 words - 4 pages "A Good Man is Hard to Find": The Grandmother's Grace      Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" tells the metaphorical tale of a family's fatal confrontation with The Misfit, an escaped serial killer. The incidents and characters throughout the story are aspects of a plot intending to symbolize the spiritual grace passed from one human to another, without regard for kindness or evil. The

A Good Man Is Hard To Find”

2766 words - 11 pages One of the most memorable lines from “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” comes from the Misfit when he says, “She would have been a good woman if it had been someone there to shoot her for every minute of her life (O’Connor 309).” Flannery O’Connor’s depiction of Christian faith can be seen in almost all of her works. Inevitably, the plots in all of O’Connor’s stories end with a shocking conclusion, and this leaves the reader with freedom to interpret

Similar Essays

Flannery O'conner And The Use Of Grotesque Character In "Good Country People" And "A Good Man Is Hard To Find"

1250 words - 5 pages "The representation of the grotesque is a characteristic of much 20th century writing" (Holman 61). Almost all of O'Connor's short stories usually end in horrendous, freak fatalities or, at the very least, a character's emotional devastation. People have categorized O'Connor's work as "Southern Gothic" (Walters 30). In Many of her short stories, A Good Man Is Hard To Find for example, Flannery O'Connor creates grotesque characters to illustrate

Good Country People Vs A Good Man Is Hard To Find

978 words - 4 pages Mistrust, religion, dysfunctional families, and death are all topics that come up at one time or another during Fannery O'Connor's symbolic tales "Good Country People" and "A Good Man is Hard to Find". "Good Country People" is a story about a simple mother, her 30 year old daughter who likes being miserable, and the man that steals her leg and teachers her a lesson in life. "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is a story about a dysfunctional family who

Good And Evil Are Bedfellows In Flannery O’connor A Good Man Is Hard To Find

1098 words - 4 pages The Flannery O’Connor story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” illustrates a parallel between the Misfit and the grandmother, showing that good and evil are not mutually exclusive in an individual. The grandmother and the Misfit display a flowing, changing state of character, representative of this shift. Flannery O’Connor develops these two characters on the surface as simply being a good person and a bad person. However, there is more to each

The Power Of Good And Evil In Flannery O'connor's A Good Man Is Hard To Find

1845 words - 7 pages The Power Of Good And Evil in Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find        Good and bad. Right and wrong. Guilty and Innocent. These are just a few of the many themes that surround everyone's life. Everyone has their own opinion about certain issues, and they depend on their values, judgment, and beliefs to see them through their difficulties. Flannery O'Connor was quoted as saying "I see from the standpoint of Christian