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...

Find Another Essay On Questioning Morality in Literature

Comparison of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and The Songs of Innocence & Experience

1776 words - 7 pages . Blake identifies the industrialization revolution and conventional religion as the problem between man and the return to the natural state of being. Blake insinuates that the world has lost its freedom and natural beauty from being consumed in a material world full of corruption and misery. Blake uses radical questioning to address the issues of conventional religion and industrialization through “The Songs of Innocence & Experience” and “The

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

1797 words - 8 pages . By appealing to the Christianity of his white companions and his audience, he is attaching and presuming a level of morality typically tied to the Christian faith. Therefore by calling his audience and his white companions Christians, Equiano essentially traps them in the position of potentially betraying or compromising this Christian level of morality within them, based on their responses to the African slaves. Therefore by questioning the

The Scarlet Letter

1402 words - 6 pages audience cannot be so easily convinced about his morality because of merely a few simple actions he has completed. When questioning one’s integrity it is only just that all of their actions are taken into consideration when coming to a conclusion, rather than a select few that would sway people to believe differently. Dimmesdale may do various things that seem immoral and selfish; however he also has a part in many selfless acts that prove

After the Bomb Essay - Eng Ext 1

2046 words - 8 pages religion being challenged in the new world "after the bomb". There was a questioning of traditional beliefs and an absence of religion in a world of chaos and death and lack of morality, conveyed through the texts of Catch and Platoon . In Catch , the part God plays in the novel can be seen as large because of the conspicuous absence. In times of suffering, questions of God tend to come up; religious men ask for God's guidance, and atheists point out

Title of Paper

992 words - 4 pages Although influential to the study of moral development, Kohlberg’s theory proves inadequate in describing the complexity of moral choices. Kohlberg’s theory overemphasizes the role of rationality in moral expression, fails to observe the influence of intuition in moral behaviour, and in doing so, undermines the goal of morality. Summarizing Kohlberg’s Philosophy of Moral Development Influenced by Jean Piaget’s psychosocial model of cognitive

The Church In The Middle Ages: What Was the church's role in the middle ages toward education

527 words - 2 pages , they attracted students and teachers not just from the neighborhood but from all over Europe who were interested in studying subjects such as philosophy, medicine, and law. Many of the students who attended these schools went on to careers in the church.The importance of Christianity in the 'Middle Ages' has been increasingly recognized as scholars based newly published source materials, literature, the teachings of the church, mathematics and theology. Education was based on Christianity and morality. Most intellectual development took place inside of the church and as a result, the church became the universal and the shining light in the dark ages.


532 words - 2 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a time of great change in America. In the mid-nineteenth century, Americans began to experience a shift in focus from the once stringent religious outlook to a more scientific view of the world and its natural wonders. Americans, however, did look at these new scientific discoveries with much hesitation, questioning their long-term effects on society as a whole. Hawthorne’ s work, “The Birth Mark echoes these

I am the Messenger by Zusak

2431 words - 10 pages Ed’s personality by pushing his boundaries, and in the short story “Good People” by David Foster Wallace, morality is used to accomplish growth and the realization of consequences of one’s actions by placing the young couple in a faith questioning situation no adolescent wants to face. When Ed is given the first card and visits 45 Edgar Street at midnight, he sees and hears one of the most disgusting things that he could imagine: rape and abuse

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Why Schools Need It

1168 words - 5 pages throughout the novel, and struggles with his morality. Huck spends time questioning himself on whether slavery is justified, as well as whether it is good or evil. Through his morality crisis, Huck grows as a character. He becomes a character with multi-faceted opinions, and the ability to question himself. By the end of the novel, Huck has changed as a protagonist, which is the basis of a bildungsroman novel. All in all, the novel is not inherently

Essay on Language and Mores in Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio

1185 words - 5 pages question posed by literature is moral in nature, but it is phrased differently: What is it about myself and others? The constraints in literature reflect the constraints in language, but the former apply to morality, the latter to mores. Morality, broadly defined, refers to a sense of decency inherent in everyone. Mores refer to the set of constraints, a sort of value table, that a society has placed on itself and on its members.   Morality

Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's Church and The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock

811 words - 3 pages , brought to poetry and literature the fictional character, seeing the world from another's eyes.  It was also a time in which "Victorian authors and intellectuals found a way to reassert religious ideas" (Longman, p. 1790). Society was questioning the ideals of religion, yet people wanted to believe.         In contrast, the 20th century found no such religious fervor in its literature. "They [writers] saw their times as marked by

Similar Essays

Why Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice Is Considered A Classic Novel

617 words - 2 pages literature must be believable otherwise a reader will not be able to understand or visualize what is occurring. The content of Pride and Prejudice is sincere because many events that occur can be related to modern day. "I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable," (Austen 314). At this point in the book, Elizabeth speaks to her father about marrying Mr. Darcy. Her father was questioning her love because she once loathed him

Evil In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

1008 words - 5 pages lives of leading actors, directors, and screenwriters (Miller 4). As a result of evil wrongdoings, peoples’ original believes are undermined and they presume a completely different identity. They are made to “literally forget who they are”, mirroring the situation faced by Salem’s society in The Crucible by Arthur Miller (Aron 4). Reverend Hale faces the challenge of questioning the basis of his faith and the morality of his conscience and actions

Some Mortals Still Have Morals Essay

947 words - 4 pages Morality is known as the distinct, common-knowledge rights or wrongs in society. This type of typical human morality is developed as the main theme in three short stories. The first of the three would be, William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” which is a story about a woman who is unable to cope with the loss of loved ones. Secondly, Fay Weldon’s “IND AFF” that contains a young college student who is romantically involved with her married

The Literature Of Romanticism Versus The Victorian

1579 words - 6 pages In the Victorian era poets are inspired to debate among each other in the heat of enlightenment. The literature of Romanticism versus the Victorian era initially becomes a problematic subject to accept. As a Victorian poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins attacks the conception of religion by questioning the existence of God. Hopkins’ sonnets reflect this issue of an oppress religion and educates people towards the conspiracy of a change era through his