Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Misfit, Jesus Christ, Grandmother, Life, Religion, Family, Death, Literature

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/02/25

Analysis of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor

In the short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find", religion holds a special place for each of the main characters. There are two main characters that have different understanding of religion: the grandmother and Misfit. The grandmother has high moral code that is noticed only in her words and not in her actions and intentions. Contrary to her, the readers are introduced with Misfit who is sincere and accepts himself as he is even though he is an escaped convict who kills the entire family. Finally, Misfit leads the grandmother to an epiphany, to realization that Misfit is a product of hypocritical people with double standards like she is.
The interpretation of Christianity in the South after the WWII is depicted through the eyes of the grandmother. She sees herself as a good woman even though her actions suggest a cunning and selfish person. The grandmother uses her grandchildren to change the planned route, she secretly takes the cat with them on a trip and sees everything trough her own interest. Finally, it is her recognition of Misfit that led the entire family to death. On the other hand, there is an antihero of the story, Misfit who does not hide behind religion. Misfit states that, "Jesus thrown everything off balance" (O'Connor 152). He makes this statement because Jesus resurrected from the dead. Before the resurrection, once you were dead that was the end of life, of everything. As Misfit is a man who believes in only what he sees, he says that he does not believe in the story of Jesus Christ's resurrection. Misfit accepts himself as he is, a murderer, an ignorant "common" man. Killing is a job for Misfit, and he sees no pleasure in it. At the end of the story he says, "It's no real pleasure in life" (O'Connor 153). This sentence may suggest that Misfit is aware of the terrible deeds that he has committed but they are his duty, his job. Misfit commits crimes automatically, without remembering what he has done. He believes that he is predestined to commit crimes and that is his job. Misfit goes so far that he forgets what he has done and always sees punishment as something undeserved.
Does Misfit believe in Jesus Christ? Based on his confession to grandmother, he would like to believe, but as he was not a witness when Jesus resurrected from the dead, he cannot believe, otherwise "then it's nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him"(O’Connor 152). Maybe, if Misfit had not been in the penitentiary, if life had treated him differently, he would have been a good man. He is not a believer and the only thing that he believes in is the punishment. On the other hand, people like the grandmother and her family appear to be believers in the eyes of the readers even though they do not follow any of the God's commandments. Children are disrespectful to their grandmother and their parents and the grandmother sees herself as the last generation of people who are "noble" and follow the path of Jesus Christ. When faced death, she identifies with the Jesus Christ and accepts Misfit as one of her children with all of his faults and misdeeds. The grandmother experiences epiphany by realizing that Misfit is also a human creature and "She reached out and touched him on the shoulder" (O’Connor 152). With this final touch, the grandmother wants that Misfit becomes a believer, because it is easier to believe and accept religion. In that way, the life is easier because all that one needs to do is to follow the path of Jesus.
A life that Misfit leads is the life of a person who does not believe in anything. He knows that he will be punished but not by God's law, but by human law. He is reconciled with that and knows that regardless of his actions, whether good or wrong, he will be punished. In the eyes of the grandmother, he is a nihilist without any moral codes and ethical virtues. However, she accepts him at the end. With this story, O'Connor points out to the different interpretations of religion based on the grandmother and Misfit.

O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man is Hard to Find". Web. 16. April 2015. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~drbr/goodman.html

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WePapers. (2021, February, 25) Good Essay On Cited Work:. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-cited-work/
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Good Essay On Cited Work:. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-cited-work/. Published Feb 25, 2021. Accessed August 15, 2022.

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