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... half lay in a puddle of blood with her legs crossed under her like a childs and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky, we realize her final realization send her to heaven with God. The Misfits command of her is right on target: She would have been a good woman, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life (OConner, 863). Both the grandmother and the Misfit are concerned with the question of how life should be lived. They both seek to impose their values upon Baileys family, yet only one of them succeeds. The Misfit represents the power to return sinners to God, to bring them up short with the worthlessness of their humanity in the face of Gods power.
The old woman represents one desperately in need of this service, and who receives it in the end. Through turning our sense of values upside down, A Good Man Is Hard To Find have successfully demonstrate the difference between moral complacency and the true goodness before God. The selfishness of a persons actions The grandmother in "A good man is hard to find," by Flannery O'Connor. dosennt value what she has in her life, but instead wants what has been left behind. She is a prim and proper lady dressed in a suit, hat, and white cotton gloves. This woman will do whatever it takes to get what she wants and she doesn't let anyone else's feelings stand in her way.
The grandmother is a manipulative, deceitful, and self-serving woman who lives in the past. She trys to justify her demands by convincing herself and her family that her way is not only the best way, but the only way. The grandmother is determined to change her family's vacation destination as she tries to manipulate her son into going to Tennessee instead of Florida. She began trying to make Bailey, her son, feel guilty about the children's safety for there was a murder on the loose. The grandmother says that "she couldn't answer to her conscience if she took the children in a direction where there was a convict on the loose." She is not success-ful with Bailey, so she uses the same antics on her daughter-in-law who doesn't even acknowledge her. Before she has a chance to work on the children, they tell her "stay at home if you don't want to go." The randmother then decides that she will have to go along after all, but she is already working on her own agenda. The grandmother is very deceitful, and she manages to sneak the cat in the car with her even though she knows Bailey does not "like to arrive at a motel with a cat." She decides that she would like to visit an old plantation and begins her pursuit of convincing Bailey to Rodrigue 2 agree to it.
She describes the old house for the children adding mysterious details to pique their curiosity. "There was a secret panel in this house," she states craftily knowing it is a lie, and not really wanting to, but she is determined to see the house. The grandmother always stretches the truth as much as possible. She not only lies to her family, but to herself as well. The grandmother doesn't live in the present, but in the past. She dresses in a suit to go on vacation in a very humid part of the country.
She states, "in case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady." She constantly tries to tell everyone what they should or should not do. She cautions Bailey "that the speed limit was fifty-five miles an hour and that the patrolmen hid themselves behind every billboard and small clumps of trees and sped out after you had a chance to slow down." She informs the children that they do not have good manners and that "children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else." when she was a child. She fits the description of an older southern lady who is a bit prejudiced when referring to the African-American race; She said, "Oh look at the cute little pickaninny!" She speaks of how she could have married Mr. Teagarden; a successful and wealthy businessman. The grandmother always speaks as though she is missing something more by being whom she really is. She enjoys listening to old songs like "The Tennessee Waltz." These thing remind her of the things she believes are more important, even more so than her own family. The grandmother blames other people for negative events that she has experienced throughout her entire life. The grandmother remains self-serving throughout the story.
She only considers what she can get out of a situation, and how it will ultimately benefit her. Her reasons for not wanting to go to Florida are purely selfish, even though she pretends that it to ensure the children's safety. She also states, "the old plantation would be very educational for them." She is not concerned about the beneficial opportunities for the children, and is only Rodrigue 3 looking out for her own needs. When the grandmother meets up with the Misfit, she tries to use the same techniques on him that she practices on her family. The Misfit does not allow the grandmother to manipulate him, however, he allows her to use her ploys for the sheer enjoyment of it. She does not resign herself to death yet, not even when she hears the gunshots coming from the wooded area. The grandmother listens to multiple gun- shots and even then she only begs for her own life.
She states "Jesus, you've got good blood, I know you wouldn't shoot a lady!" The grand-mother's only son, and his entire family are dead and she remains absorbed in her own fear, oblivious to what is going on around her. The grandmother does not change until mere seconds before her life is over, and her head clears for an instant. After she realizes the Misfit is going to kill her, she tries to manipulate fo the final time telling the Misfit, "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!" The grandmother's life ends at this time and she never realized that she held everything dear to her at home. O'Connor leaves the reader to believe that maybe the grandmother wouldn't have changed regardless, and her head clearing for an instant could be interpreted as she knew she was going to die and was trying to think clearly long enough to save her own life. I think that Flannery OConnors short story A Good Man is Hard to Find is written partially in order to convert people who have not yet fully accepted the Christian faith.
OConner, herself being a strong believer in Christianity, probably thought that writing this story will help make people who arent really living by the Christian rules to seriously consider doing so. Flannery O'Connor was deeply concerned with the values and the direction of the youth at the time. She believed that Christ was no longer enough of a priority to the people of her generation. "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is representative of Flannery O'Connor's concern for the priorities and values of the 1940s. An example of this, in "A Good Man is Hard to Find," involves the grandmother's strong, southern heritage. She dresses with the intention that anyone who finds her dead on the road will know she was a lady, and she is always telling stories of southern gentlemen courting her.
Then, the Misfit, whom she "knows" is of quality, southern blood, shoots her and her family, despite her belief in southern hospitality. Grandma is a woman who believes in God, but it seems that her belief isnt really strong up until her confrontation with the Misfit. From what I understand, most of her works follow a similar pattern. The main character(s) are in some kind of trouble and at the end they see the light of Gods ways and have their redemption. Christians have often criticized her works for being immoral but in actuality she uses these extreme situations and portrayals to express the power of God in a positive light. The immoral character of the Misfit is very skillfully portrayed, as is the enlightened character of Grandma. Most of the characters in A Good Man is Hard to Find and, probably her other works, go through some kind of methamorphosis, a change in their views of the world and in their perceptions about life and death.
Such character in this particular story is Grandma and, in my opinion, the Misfit. I think that the Misfit is constantly experiencing a deep inner struggle and this is revealed in his conversation with Grandma. Of course, OConners skillful portrayal of his helps the reader to detect some obscure details of the Misfits behavior, which are key elements in determining the Misfits state of mind. Those details are his gestures, his speech, and his thoughts. Maybe, in a way, the Misfit represents the new generation of young and religiously misguided people, and Grandma symbolizes the old generation, which has grown somewhat distanced from religion. In my opinion this is a take on the missionary concept. Someone in the storyline is converted to stronger faith in God, and also there is a form of conversion of the reader by the author.
Flannery OConnor probably hoped to provoke her readers and to make them re-consider their own spiritual notions and ideals. All said, A Good Man is Hard to Find is an exceptionally well-written short story with both tension and provoking religious content. The ending doesnt come as much of a surprise, though, it still is good for a short story. The plot may be a bit illogical when given more thought, but overall this is an exciting and interesting work, which can be enjoyed by non-Christian readers as well..
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