Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" presents a grim and pessimistic view of human nature. None of the characters in the short story are likeable, and when the Misfit kills the grandmother, the reader feels little sympathy with her. Flannery O'Connor paints a portrait of modern American society as being bereft of "good" people, and as being inherently flawed.

Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is a disturbing but compelling story. It is also complex, with no absolute interpretation of what the author is trying to say. Ultimately the author points to one central theme: that it is difficult or impossible to be truly good. In the story, the grandmother is the protagonist. She, as well as Red Sam, believe that good people used to exist but do not anymore. "People are certainly not nice like they used to be," the grandmother tells Red Sam while the family is stopped at his store (O'Connor 4). Red Sam agrees with the grandmother. He says, "These days you don't know who to trust," meaning that at one time it may have been easy to trust people in America (O'Connor 4). Red Sam delivers the line that becomes the title of the short story: "a good man is hard to find," (O'Connor 5). As the story progresses, it becomes apparent that Flannery O'Connor is suggesting that American society is as sick as the Misfit. There are no moral codes, because religion does not provide the means by which people can be honest. The grandmother lies and manipulates her family, even though she thinks of herself as a "good" person. Therefore, the author does not believe religion is the answer to solving the social problems in America. The grandmother's weak pleas to the Misfit to save her life are met with nothing but disgust and ultimately, murder. The Misfit "sprang back as if a snake had bitten him and shot her three times through the chest," (O'Connor 12). O'Connor reflects the moral…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Moore, Michael. Fahrenheit 911. [Feature Film].

O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

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