O’Connor was a southern american writer whose work often included a religious theme, based upon her experiences growing up as a Catholic. While O’Connors has written many novels like “Wise Blood” and “The Violent Bear It Away” and other short stories. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is widely acknowledged because she shows ethics, morality and race by grandma embodying the good Christian hero when she faces death while misfits being the villain.
The characters of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” live by variety of moral codes, and both the story title and the grandmother’s conversation about Red Sam brings the idea about goodness, and what makes a good man. In the end, the grandma insists that the misfit – who just killed her entire family is a good man. The Grandmother seems to believe that being a good person means being honest, respectful, and polite. Without knowing Red Sammy the grandmother tells him “.. you’re a good man” (O’Connor, #). Even though all she has seen right through him, in that, he only shows friendliness and nostalgia in order to help his business. The grandmother thinks he is good because he was willing to help a decent person. Speaking to the the Misfit, she repeatedly she insists that he would not shoot an old lady. She tries to manipulate the Misfit by bringing Jesus into the situation. “Jesus!”…. I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! .. Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady. I’ll give you all the money I’ve got!” (O’Connor,#). The grandmother offers the Misfit money, after he has killed her family. The Misfit does not take her seriously, and makes a joke in response. Her sense of goodness is based on traditional morals that, even in the face of murder, and her old age will prevent Misfit from murdering her. The Misfit claims that he’s not a good person, because he views crime in a casual matter to make the most of his life. Other then when he is talking to the grandmother, he does not seem to compare himself against any standard of good character, thus he does not consider himself to be morally wicked. O’Conner does not attempt to answer what true “Goodness”. By presenting different and ironic models of “good person”- the grandmother, Bailey, Red Sammy- she makes the reader feel the dubiety of morality itself. Then, she brings the Misfit whose very reality threatens of any kind of “goodness”.
The discussion between the grandmother and the Misfit concerns ideas of punishment and forgiveness. A thought is presented in Misfit’s word: “does it seem right to you, lady, that one is punished a heap and another ain’t punished at all?” (O’Conner). The Misfit doesn’t even remember why he was put in prison fore thought he didn’t do anything wrong, and shouldn’t have punished for. The grandmother, on the other hand, ends up causing the death of her whole family simply by just mentioning that she recognizes the Misfit. This was a clearly a mistake, resulting suffering from the “Crime”. O’Connor shows the unflinching of her christian faith. Even Though the grandmother forgives the Misfit for all his misbehavior, for intending to kill her, she gains nothing but a moment of grace, and she is killed anyways. At the story’s end, however, we see that that this forgiveness might mean something to the Misfit. Earlier in the conversation, but after The Grandmother reaches out and insists that he still must be a good person, The Misfit chastises his henchman for suggesting that there was “pleasure” in the murders. The Misfit has, in the smallest way, been changed by the redemptive power of her forgiveness. Each character suffers beyond what they may “deserve,” but that does not rob forgiveness of its value and power.
The story’s title itself refers to the moral violated by the grandmother and others. There was a time when the grandmother believed, it was simple to find good man. After the car crash, the family is not tended to by the neighbors, but instead by the Misfit resulting in a tension between the traditional sense of morality and modern rejection. The grandmother prevents her grandchildren from throwing trash out of the car, and she corrects them constantly, even with gun par in her