In Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find. We meet an older woman simply known as the Grandmother. She is a prideful, selfish and ignorant person. Throughout the story she manages to make situations harder and harder for the characters until she leads them all, including herself to their demise. One could easily read the story and see her being a fairly flat character, but that would not be a quality interpretation. Instead there is so much more beneath her attitude, that not only makes her more interesting, but also relevant to humanity. O’Connor, being a Christian, writer inadvertently leaves vivid Christian imagery in her story. We see this in three distinct places, first in her general personality and how that affects those
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When confronted by the Misfit, grandmother asks him, “You wouldn’t shoot a lady would you?” (O’ Connor, 192) This sentence gives us her self-perspective. She is a lady; an inherently good, pious woman. From her dialog about Jesus, it’s clear her salvation is based more on her moral philosophy than any Divine Being. It’s through this lens she feels it’s her right to judge both others and situations and correct them as she sees fit. The tragedy is that this perspective fails to ever judge one’s self. She never sees her own double standards or hateful behavior. It’s that specific flaw that makes her an intolerable person.
To understand this character, you must first understand you’re just like her. We all twist the truth to make it a bit more appealing, even denying the truth. We all point out, even if only to ourselves, others flaws. Every person can think of instances where they have done these things. However, there is more to it than that. We also think of our own self as a good person, some take it further and consider themselves holier-than-thou. We all tend to think, at least unconsciously, that we have a right to judge the world around because of our superior quality. Very few people would ever admit this out loud, but most will see that the behavior described is the basis of typical human attitude. A person who is an arrogant, lying, judge sounds appalling to everyone, yet each of us is that person. We too fail to look inside at our own failings. It