Character With Reference to Main Themes of Term Paper

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character with reference to main themes of the short story, 'A good man is hard to find' by Flannery O'Connor. Grandmother occupies the most important place in the story along with the Misfit. She is quite a manipulative woman whose real character surfaces when she is closest to death.

Good Man is Hard To Find' good man is hard to find' is not exactly the kind of story that you would want to read again and again. This is because there is certain air of evilness surrounding the entire plot and the ending is pretty grotesque. The characters are all rather bleak and death seems to prevail over every scene and conversation. Symbolism has been used effectively to accentuate the presence of death and homicide. Though there appears to be nothing extraordinary about the story, the only thing that really attracts the attention of the readers is close to perfect development of characters. The most interesting character is that of grandmother who doesn't have any other name in the story. She is the central figure who is full of life and thus least prepared for death. In the beginning of the story, we notice that she is slightly reluctant to go to Florida for a vacation because she has heard about a killer who is on the loose. This shows that woman is scared of death and at the same time she doesn't want to be left alone at home. While many critics have shown an inclination for calling this woman mad or evil, the truth is that this character is slightly eccentric because it is quite out of touch with reality. In my personal opinion, the character was created by the author to show how even the ones who are supposedly closer to death are afraid to die and how her verbal reiteration of religious beliefs contradict with her inner values. This is because had she been a truly religious person, she would have been more prepared for death especially it could be so strongly felt in the air.

Thus I maintain that while this character is negative to certain extent, its negativity doesn't originate from its lack of compassion or love but from the conflict that exists between grandmother's verbal and true inner beliefs. We notice that from the very beginning, she is constantly talking about Jesus, grave and death but none of those beliefs seem to have really sunk in. Her character is full of consciously created contradictions and this is exactly what gives it a negative shade. It is apparent from the way Grandmother reacts when she sees the Misfit, she instinctively recognizes him as if there was something common between them. Notice what the writer says when grandmother finally gets to meet the Misfit, "The grandmother had the peculiar feeling that the bespectacled man was someone she knew. His face was as familiar to her as if she had known him au her life but she could not recall who he was. He moved away from the car and began to come down the embankment, placing his feet carefully so that he wouldn't slip. He had on tan and white shoes and no socks, and his ankles were red and thin." (146) This is what would make the readers say, 'it really takes one to know one'.

We can't say that grandmother is exactly an evil person, but she is definitely not a very compassionate person and would manipulate everyone to save her life. True, this is how most of us would behave when faced with a death but her behavior makes us think that all she is really worried about is her life and not that of her children. "You wouldn't shoot a lady, would you?" The grandmother said and removed a clean handkerchief from her cuff and began to slap at her eyes with it. The Misfit pointed the toe of his shoe into the ground and made a little hole and then covered it up again. "I would hate to have to," he said. "Listen," the grandmother almost screamed, "I know you're a good man. You don't look…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Martin, Carter W., The True Country: Themes in the Fiction of Flannery O'Connor, Kingsport, TN, Kingsport Press, Inc., 1969

Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners edited by Sally Fitzgerald and Robert Fitzgerald, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969, pp. 107-18

Grimshaw, James A., The Flannery O'Connor Companion, Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1981

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