In A Good Man is Hard to Find, O’Connor displays to us the theme of an unsympathetic character that is surprisingly touched when one of his victims of his senseless crimes tries to convert him and persuade him to not kill her. With O’Connor’s Catholic influenced writing, a closer look through the short story shows the theme of unlikely, undeserving characters finally understanding the error of their ways and knowing that they could change, through the help and belief of religion. At the end of the story we see irony along with a sort of justice to the killing of the grandmother, who led her family down on a trip to their death because she was insistent of reliving and glorifying the former times. We also see the Misfit find out that there is no pleasure in his way of life, which makes him reflect on how different his life could have been.
The first example of the Grandmother’s ability to compare and contrast the present time she is in and the ways of the past is in the backseat of the car with her grandchildren. When her grandson says that he wishes to get through their home state, Georgia, quickly, the grandmother admonishes him by telling him that children were more respectful of their states and parents. This seems to have little effect on the two disrespectful children.
Further along the vacation, the family goes to The Tower for lunch. The place is run by a man named Red Sammy, whom advertises his restaurant by appealing to people just like the grandmother with his veteran status and displaying the saying “Red Sam! The Fat Boy With The Happy Laugh!” (302) While eating there, the two discuss the ways of better times and Red Sam tells her the story that to him, is the perfect example of how dismaying the times have got. At the end of his recount of how he thought he was able to trust strangers by allowing them to charge gas but got ripped off instead, the grandmother exclaims that the reason why he did that was because he was a good man. Red Sam and the...
Cited: O’Connor, Flannery “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
The Norton Introduction to Literature, Shorter 10th Edition, 2010.
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