Judgment Awaits In A Good Main Is Hard To Find

1673 words - 7 pages

Society, individuals, and governments all have their own definition of good. They vary a little, but they are still followed. However, when the definition of good is manipulated to fit someone’s own character, it loses its meaning. In the narrative, A Good Man is Hard to Find, the narrator creates a new definition of good; however, so do the characters. Eventually, the antagonist’s definition of good, which is just her values, along with her egotistical and manipulative nature, results in her downfall; the author employs biblical allusion and a series of plot twists to emphasize these tragic flaws.
The Grandmother defines ‘good’ as having the same values that she does: material wealth and appearances. The Grandmother said she would have done well to marry Mr. Teagarden because he was a gentleman and ... a very wealthy man. In this part of the story Grandma covets the wealth and the status that Mr. Teagarden could have provided. In The Melancholy Tyrant: Democracy and Tranny in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the author Mark Mitchell uses psychological criticism to analyze the characters and their relationships with each other. “The old lady’s concerns remain perpetually focused on herself, for as soon as The Misfit consoles her she looks at him and inquires, ‘You wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you?’ The presence of children, her grandchildren, and the obvious danger to them makes this inquiry chilling in its solitary concern. The family is so disintegrated that the natural affection of a mother for her child or a grandmother for her grandchildren seems to evaporate when a real threat presents itself,” (Mitchell 214). The Grandma’s definition of good leads her to value money, material comforts, and appearances over relationships and family. After Grandma meets the Misfit, she tries to persuade him to save her by offering him money; however, the Misfit, playing the role of Jesus, does not accept her offer in exchange for salvation and slowly her wealth and appearance start to dissolve. At this point she gives up on trying to bribe the Misfit with money or manners and goes on to use another tactic to receive salvation. Her values lead her to sin in her daily life and eventually lead her down the road of judgment.
In A Good Man is Hard to Find, the trip the family takes is a representation of the journey from life to death. The journey can be seen when the family is taking the hilly dirt road with dangerous embankments. Life is mirrored in this image in that it is just as dangerous and has its ups and downs. People also receive glimpses of Heaven and Hell, which is described as “blue tops of trees for miles” and “in a red depression with the dust coated trees looking down on them,” (O'Connor 6). Throughout this life journey the Grandmother constantly sins by letting her selfish nature get the best of her. Grandma always thinks highly of herself and wants others to think highly of her as well. She considers herself a lady with...

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