Theme Of A Good Man Is Hard To Find By Flannery O Connor

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For many, religion is an important aspect to developing and growing within their life. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, Flannery O’Connor tells the story of a Grandmother, her grandchildren, and their parents taking a memorable road trip to an old plantation. O’Connor seeks to discover the definition of a “Good Man”, and what it takes to become one, through a shift from selfishness to purity and honesty in light of a tragedy. In this story, and many other pieces of writing by O’Connor, Christianity is a major topic and part of the underlying theme. By showing the Grandmother’s journey from selfish behaviors to grace and faith, O’Connor symbolizes a Christian’s journey towards salvation. Many characters in the book think of themselves as “good …show more content…
The Grandmother accredits that values are based on outward appearance and where someone came from. Despite thinking of herself as a respectable grandmother or mother, she manipulates and deceives those closest to her. Although she sets a high standard for herself, she lacks compassion and self-awareness. The Misfit 's moral code, although twisted, is strong and consistent, allowing him to live his life by it. He is true to himself and does not lie about who he is, unlike the Grandmother. A good man is really hard to find in this story. When Red Sam, the owner of a famous barbeque the family rested at, tells the Grandmother the story about him getting duped for the gas, she calls him a good man. She then tries to tell the Misfit he is a good man because she believes he would not shoot a lady. What she fails to realize is that she is calling people good because their values are the same as hers, not because they are actually moral, and “it is the extreme situation that best reveals what we are” (Votteler 3). The only good man to be shown throughout the story is the Misfit, because even though he has a twisted moral code, he is the only character that consistently abides by his …show more content…
In the end, the Grandmother’s hat breaks, and O’Connor displays how in a crisis, outward appearances will not solve it. However, not only do outward appearances not assist an individual in a life or death situation, but readers understand that knowing facts about God or Christianity will not save a soul either. After acting selfish and determined to prove her self-worth, the Grandmother in the end is finally pure and honest with herself and the beliefs she has about religion. Despite the Grandmother having an epiphany, or a sense of religion in the end, she fails to stick with her experiences and the lessons she learned. Joe Fassler describes that “human beings have to be re-educated over and over and over again as we swim upstream against our own rationalities” (4). O’Connor has shown in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” that a good man is truly hard to find. The Misfit is the only character consistent with his morals, but he is far from being considered a good man. The author leads readers to believe that the only good man is Jesus, and the grandmother must relieve her selfish behaviors in order to be pure and honest and meet the man of God in the

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