A Good Man Is Hard To Find Essay

972 WordsJun 7, 20114 Pages
A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND There are few superficial similarities between The Misfit and the Grandmother in Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” The true similarities between them are really beneath the surface and at once more profound. These similarities, however, are fiercely debated among O’Connor’s critics, as most disagree with her that the Misfit is the good man in her ‘parable’ (McDermott, J. V., 2010). It is only by considering that O’Connor saw the world through a prism of Christian orthodoxy, or peoples relation to Redemption by Christ, that her ‘parable’ can be seen for what it is; a comparative mystery play (Whitt, M. E., 2010). The mystery then is how two people, whose similarity appears to be that they are both blind to the root cause of their sin, can be each other’s source of redemption. The journey to revelation by common people is a primary theme in biblical stories; the underlying intent being to draw in the reader to identify with the protagonists. O’Connor’s choice of cultural setting, though strange to many, impresses us with its routine commonness; we see ourselves in them, just as many New Testament people are readily recognizable—they are humans. At every instance of the trip the Grandmother reveals her failings, but they seem innocuous; white lies, manipulation, and superficiality. At The Tower, O’Connor uses misdirection to establish the mystery of the story by having the Grandmother identify Red Sammy as the good man. Red Sammy is the symbol of a conventional good man (Bryant, H. B., 1981), but he lacks the characteristics of a potential prophet. In the car, the Grandmother’s manipulation of Bailey, through the children, results in the family being lost in the wilderness. This situation recalls the experiences of Moses, David, and Jesus; the imperative it seems is that being with help precludes shedding fear and

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