Dawn of Civilization, the Battle Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Is there such a thing as retribution, though -- or at least does evil ever regret its actions. As the story ends, Misfit seems to be thinking about goodness and probably thinking that evil is not the answer to the problems in his life. At the end of the story Misfit regrets killing Grandma, and says that "she would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." Everyone has evil inside them; sometimes we see only good or only evil; but the battle exists on various planes in a regular, almost evolutionary manner -- the conflict is what drives humans forward. What are these consequences, though? If Mme. Loisel would not have been so determined to rise above her station and show off, or if she had been more honest and less presumptive, she would not have spent a decade working off her debts, "At the end of ten years, they had paid everything, everything, with the rates of usury, and the accumulations of the compound interest. Mme. Loisel looked old now. She had become the woman of impoverished households -- strong and hard and rough. With frowsy hair, skirts askew, and red hands, she talked loud while washing the floor with great swishes of water."

And, in The Lottery, the mood du jour is actually festive, almost as if it was circus or festival time, "The children assembled first, of course….Soon the men began to gather…. The women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters, came shortly after their men-folk. . . The lottery was conducted -- as were the square dances, the teen-age club, the Halloween program -- by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities."

Thus, at the end of the reading, the reader is left with a broad spectrum of human good and evil -- the small evil of avarice, selfishness, and obscurity in The Necklace, the heinous evil (in one point-of-view) combined with the overall good toward the community in The Lottery, and the secure evil of murder in A Good Man is Hard To Find. The beauty of these stories is that there is no clear right and wrong -- but a relativist and behaviorist conundrum that will likely plague humanity for centuries.


Gretlund. J., et.al., eds. Flannery O'Connor's Radical Reality. University…

Sources Used in Document:


Gretlund. J., et.al., eds. Flannery O'Connor's Radical Reality. University of South

Carolina Press.

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