Questioning Morality In Literature Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

“The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong” (Carl. Jung). A man is inclined to believe what he desires and act the way they he feels best suited even if one perceives this as unjust. The distinction between good and bad behavior can otherwise be defined as morality. The belief that morals are always classified as good is an easy misconception. Multiple times in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” moral codes conveyed through the two main characters are not always positive. The grandmother and the Misfit conduct themselves in behaviors that are driven from personal values. In Flannery O’Connor’s, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, an individual’s morals are reflected by their actions as opposed to the way they are perceived or the way they perceive themselves. This is evident whether a character does or does not remain true to their morals.
“In most southern gothic stories, there is a pivotal character or someone close to them who is set apart from the world by a disability or odd way of seeing the world” ( Pearson 1). “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a prime example of gothic literature. In this story, the Misfit’s actions are seen as abstruse and unethical to the reader. His actions are mainly dependent on what he believes in. The man does not react to a certain situation; he simply goes through the same thought process as if he would with anything else. This is highlighted when he states, “I forget what I done, lady. I set there and set there, trying to remember what it was I done and I ain't recalled it to this day. Oncet in a while, I would think it was coming to me, but it never come." (O’Connor 113). As the Misfit answers the grandmother, he relays that he does not remember what crime he has committed. However, this seems very unlikely. He might have been innocent but that does not explain his murderess actions later in the story. In reality, the Misfit’s forgetfulness has the striking possibility to show how he feels zero remorse for his crimes or simply believes what he is doing is proper. In the Misfit’s defense, he stays true to his morals and possesses a stronger faith in contrast with grandmother. He remains consistent in his belief and ends up coming out on top whereas the very opposite occurs with the grandmother.
Similarly influenced by morals, the grandmother is hypocritical and a victim of churlishness and abrasive statements. After discovering the possibility of a Misfit, her manipulative character begins to thrive. In the very beginning, the grandmother slyly attempts to convince her son, Bailey, to take the children to a vacation to Tennessee as she did not want to go to Florida. This is articulated when the grandmother states, "Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida.... I wouldn't take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it." (O’Connor 1). From this quote, it is easily inferable that...

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