a Good Man Is Hard To Find Essay

1535 WordsApr 25, 20127 Pages
Hangcheng Zhou Instructor Fox Writing 102 Section 38 27 Feb.2012 No Absolute Barrier between Good and Evil in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, written by Flannery O’Connor, is an example of Southern Gothic fiction that uses a series of ironic events set in the American South to explore certain values. The author creates two seemingly opposite characters, the grandmother and the Misfit to show her opinions about what is good and evil. The grandmother regards herself as a graceful and devout lady, but actually she is so self-obsessed and shallow that her behavior leads to her entire family’s death. By contrast, the Misfit is an obvious villain who never pretends to be a good man and, quite ironically, he may be the only one in this story who has deep thoughts about life. Through the development of the story, readers may draw the conclusion that there is no straightforward answer to what is good and evil in the world. The grandmother is a pretentious character who considers herself as a moral lady with a faithful belief in Christianity, However, she only cares about herself and pretends to be considerate of others. In the beginning of the story, she uses the report about the Misfit to try to convince her family not to go to Florida for vacation. She tells Bailey, her son, “ I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did”(O’Connor, 9). But actually this is just an excuse of her to visit some friends in east Tennessee. This seemingly trivial warning is also used as foreshadowing to set up a big irony: it is the grandmother that leads the whole family to the Misfit. The ostensible kindness is a proof of her selfishness. When the Misfit kills her family one by one, she never begs the criminal to spare the life of her children. Instead, her mind is so occupied

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