A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND
According to Flannery O’Connor, She said "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" is a illusorily easily read story which makes us laugh and laugh, for she incarcerations a certain quintessence of southern life as few people have. But in the midst of the laughter, if we read carefully, we also realize that the story invites debate about the meaning of "a good man," about the meaning of the events with which it concludes, and about the meaning of our existence in the universe. Notice the repetition of the word, "meaning."
In the story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” an American family, father, mother, three children and grandmother, set off on a vacation motor trip, their aim being to cover as much ground as possible in the time allotted for the vacation. “Let’s go through Georgia fast, so we won’t have to look at it much” is the way 8-year-old John Wesley puts it. Before they are through they have all six confronted eternity-through the agency of a gunman escaped from a penitentiary who employs the interval, during which his two henchmen are off in the wood murdering the father and mother and three children, in discussing the theological problem of death and resurrection with the grandmother.
Flannery O'Connor presents the reader with a theology lesson, that is, at the beginning of the story the grandmother is totally preoccupied with what she "wants." Other events show us go on to show us these shallow travelers, people who are the embodiments of the self-interested, materialistic society that arose in the wake of World War II. O'Connor seems to be teaching that in every situation of life we are in death (none of us, to speak of, know it.). But toward the end of the story, the grandmother's moment of death so clarifies the meaning of life that the grandmother forgets what she "wants" and reaches out to include "The Misfit" as one of her children.
The writer shows that “The Misfit's” tendency to take things literally is the theological heart of...