A Good Man is Hard to Find

O’connor’s A Good Man Is Hard To Find

From the title of the story itself, I was already expecting the plot to be showing the negative side of the characters. True enough, the characters involved seem to be downplaying their positive side as persons and indeed thrive on the conflicts their circumstances brought them. Every step along the way is a test of the family member’s character.
The bad guys who did the killing and whose presence have been foreshadowed already by the grandmother are cold-blooded murderers who do not mind ending the lives of even the old and the young characters there. Being a classic story most often included in the studies of the young (in school), I was expecting a rather conservative storyline instead of a violent one. So it was with great surprise for me that the story ended with less to be desired.
Even if I was preparing myself to be open-minded in reading materials such as these, I still can’t help feeling bad about the outcome of the story. It definitely changes my perception of things. The story reminds me that indeed, there is always a good and a bad side in every person. When the grandmother touches the “Misfit” before she was killed, I believe she was then showing compassion and forgiveness to the person in question. It could also be an appeal to spare her life.

However, I wish to reiterate that after all the experiences the grandmother must have gone through, she can already see through a person’s true self, and perhaps, just perhaps, she has seen the goodness of the killer inspite of it all. On the other hand, the Misfit also showed a willingness to be humane when he recognized the possibility of the grandmother becoming good in the true sense of the word, if only she can be reminded all the time. I believe the Misfit’s sentence was a metaphor.

A Good Man is Hard to Find

Journal on “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

Basically the main point of the story, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, is that the modern society has drastically degenerate over the past years and that the only way for it to change is for people to repent and renew their faith in God. In addition, the author, Mary Flannery O’Connor, claims in her story that the most of the youth today no longer has moral values unlike the previous generations. In other words, the story is also a comparison between past and present societies and generations.

To illustrate her points and show her comparisons, the author used the characters as symbols of the past and present societies. The grandmother represents the past generation in which people were more disciplined and showed more respect as compared to the present generation.

This difference between the two generations was shown at the beginning of the story wherein the grandmother failed to persuade her son’s family to go to Tennessee instead of Florida. The mere fact that her son’s family chose an alternate path on their way to Florida, which resulted in their murder at the hands of a young man and his gang, shows that the generation today tends to stray from the path that they should be taking.
Basically, the point of the author is had the family remained on the main road or had they went to Tennessee instead of Florida, they would not have been killed. On the other hand, the murderer, a relatively young man called “the Misfit” in the story, according to the author, symbolized the present status of the youth today— misguided and violent. Before the Misfit killed the grandmother, she tried to convince him that he was a good man. In the end, however, the Misfit refused to listen to her and shot her three times in the chest.
The author was very effective in conveying his message that the values of the generation today, particularly, the youth, have significantly deteriorated. In addition, she also convincingly showed how the present society lacks faith as depicted in the Misfit’s refusal to believe in Jesus in his conversation with the grandmother.