Inhumanity In Flannery O’connor’s A Good Man Is Hard To Find And Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

1129 words - 5 pages

In Flannery O’Connor’s, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” and Shirley Jackson's, “The Lottery,” both short stories deal with man’s inhumanity in different situations, and ending with a similar consequence.
Jackson and O'Connor both use two characters to depict man having the power to manipulate truth and objection into something people accept. In O’Connor’s’ A Good Man is Hard to Find, the Misfit is a character in need of desired assistance, troubled and confused he wanders savagely murdering strangers. On the opposite side of the ring, you have a seemingly traditional early 1900’s Caucasian senior citizen traveling with her family. Hasting to waste time, the grandmother drives her family all through the Southeastern states. The two meet in a tire blow out, and for the grandmothers’ wicked mouth this will be the end for the entire family. In a haste reaction trying to spare her own life other than her already dead family, she extends her arm towards the cold killer trying to unravel the slightest last bit of morality the Misfit has. At that moment, her Christian morals are revealed, but sadly the old woman finally was silenced. The Misfit fired his gun, scared and just in awe at the hope and desperation the grandmother had in her Christian hopes of saving her life. Humorously towards the killing the Misfit quotes,
“She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."
“In Matthew 10:39 Jesus says, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” O’Connor delves into this paradox in several of the short stories in A Good Man Is Hard to Find. For instance, the grandmother in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” loses her earthly life, but in the last moment when she renounces her individualism, she may also be finding spiritual life” (Hooten 199-200).
The Misfit and the grandmother, at the time they meet, are both in need of a higher god. The grandmother having to struggle with conforming herself to the ideas of a younger generation causing her to show her hypocritical Christian, for example, “Oh look at the cute little pickaninny!" she said and pointed to a Negro child,” and, “Little riggers in the country don't have things like we do,” (Connor). Appealingly the grandmother comes off as a bigoted racist Caucasian, not showing off her inner “Christian”. As for the misfit, he is struggling to conform with the ideas that God dislikes him, in the sense that, for quote, “A head-doctor at the penitentiary said what I had done was kill my daddy but I known that for a lie….He was buried in the Mount Hopewell Baptist churchyard and you can go there and see for yourself.” Being wrongly convicted of a murder seemingly caused the Misfit to live up to his name as a killer, inhumanely killing innocent strangers. For both, the resolution results in the inner feelings of both characters to be revealed. For the Misfit, he finds his inner conscience, and...

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