Analysis Paper of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Conner (1955)
Client’s 9 August A good man is hard to find is a very inspiring story which teaches the readers more things than one, the story presents the Southern milieu very vividly. The idiosyncrasies of the characters have also been given prime importance by the writer. This paper will comprehensively analyze the story. There are several people who exist only for themselves, their selfish existence is of no use to other people and this is one story which explores the selfish existence of the grandmother and how she tries her best to deceive the misfit ultimately failing in her endeavor and getting shot three times in the chest. She turns to religion in desperate circumstances but even that fails to work.
Religion is of prime importance in the story, the character of the grandmother is arguably the most important, though she is not a true Christian she tries everything within her reach to save herself from the misfit, she literally begs the misfit for her life and asks him to pray but the misfit shoots her three times in the chest and kills her along with her other family members. The selfish character of the grandmother teaches the readers some really important things; the most important of them all is to be selfless unlike the grandmother. Violence is another theme that the story explores; the misfit killing the entire family is a classic example of what is happening in our society today. Murders have become very common and nothing significant has been done to stop this, the grandmother was solely responsible for the killings. She took her cat against the wishes of her son and the cat ran riot which caused Bailey to lose control of the car. They would not have been killed had he not lost control. The selfish character of the grandmother has been very well portrayed by the writer; her selfishness took the lives away of her near and dear ones.
The most important question that the story raises is whether the grandmother was a good Christian or not? Her character constantly transforms as the story progresses, she has been seen as a selfish woman in through-out the story. She did not do anything as her family members were being taken to the woods and shot, all she thought about was saving her life and escaping that particular ordeal.
She pretends to be a good Christian but she fails to be one, she reaches out and touches the misfit who shoots her and brings her selfish existence to an end. It is very debatable whether she was being selfish or whether she had realized that she had led a selfish life when she reaches out to the misfit. She tries her best to salvage the situation; she wanted to distract the misfit by telling him about the powers of Jesus Christ but the misfit was in no mood to listen and he was a cold blooded murderer who had murdered her entire family, as expected the misfit shot the grandmother and her attempts to save herself completely failed.
“Can it only be understood religiously, as O’Connor would argue herself? What might the extreme situation have to do with bringing about such a moment? Can such a sudden transformation really happen at all, or should we disbelieve it? Perhaps at some point in your life you or someone you know will experience a “transformative moment.” Or claim to have experienced it. And on that issue too, youll find plenty of food for thought in this little story.” (A Good Man is Hard to Find) The story can be interpreted in many ways; the readers are the best judges. They are the ones who usually decide about the unanswered questions in the story.
A Good Man is Hard to Find. Literature. n.p., Web. 9 August. 2011.