A Good Man Is Hard to Find


O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"

In "A Good Man Is hard to Find," Flannery O'Conner really puts the reader in the middle class mode and throws a little religion at us. By this I mean that she takes us to an important part of her mind and soul. One could even say that she lets the Devil come out in her own little way.

In reading " A Good Man is Hard to Find," we find ourselves in a setting of a lower middle class family with a dominant mother, annoying grandmother and a whinny mother-in-law. I tend to believe that she is to be the main character. The grandmother is representative of godliness and Christianity. However just from this one story I get the feeling that she could be telling of the changes that took place in the US after W.W. II when violence began to grow rapidly. Women were coming home from the war, and men were demanding their voting rights. In the 50's crime was on everyone's mind, on television and in the moon. O'Connor's knew taht society was drastically changing for the worse, and she probably knew that one day we'd end with something liek the Internet with all its pornos. O'Connor's displeasure with society at the time could have been attributed to strong belief in God from a Catholic point of view.

OConner was trying to put the question of Religion to the reader. What has happened to the World ? It had become complicated. Here you have a dear old lady just trying to get her only son to take her where she wants to go. Consider the Christian idea of evil as opposed to a divine nation of the "good." The characters usually are acting from right intentions, but they end up attempting to inflict their ideas of what is "good" on those who don't agree them, those not so fortunate. She shows us how violent the recipients of this "good" can become and how they resist it and react to it , Religion that is. Who was the momentary messiah, the-on-the-spot-Jesus the Judas mother giving up her son in hopes that she might live? These are questions I thought O'Connor was asking in "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

Grandma, I believe it is all her making and doing. She brought the family to the situation. She provoked the Killer. The killer's statements about his life especially his own father reflects he too was subject to religious questions. and the fact that the lifestyles of the southern whites were descending is evidence of society's "demise" is blended into the story, and presented through an interesting generation gap.

The gap to me is between the son, mother, kids and killer. The Son was a whimp and a momma's boy I could sense that from the start. The Son pays little attention to the grandmother and when he does he is often quite rude. I guess that is how his generation acted in those days and time.

The unruly children are representative of the breakdown of respect, and discipline, and are consequently a forecast of future generations. The way they treated the old woman was just like their parents. I feel that they are giving the parents a little taste of their own medicine.

The Misfit represents evil. At one point the Misfit likens himself to Christ, in that they both were punished for crimes they did not commit. Christ accepted death for the sins of all people, however, and not only did the Misfit not do that, but he also killed other innocent people. Near the end of the ordeal, the grandmother recognizes the shirt the Misfit has put on as her son's shirt. Upon observing this image, she realizes that to be truly Christlike, she is going to have to forgive the Misfit and accept him as a child of God. I think O'Connor was trying to show how deeply concerned with the values and the direction of the youth of that time. She may have started believing that Christ was no longer enough of a priority to the people of her generation.

If I look at the quote from O'Conner "My subject in fiction is the action in theory is held largely by the devil"