Of the two stories I read, one being The Storm by Kate Chopin and the other being A
Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O’Connor, I found that each had characters with moral
dilemmas. In both, the setting played a role in these dilemmas but in different ways. In The
Storm, the bad weather was the set-off to and unpredicted intimacy while in A Good Man Is Hard
To Find, the setting seems to be focused around a family’s vacation and their encounter with a
criminal. In the following paragraphs, I will go on to explain how certain characters have moral
dilemmas and how the setting helps to support my interpretations.
The Storm is based around a woman by the name of Calixta who is left home alone while
a threatening storm blows up suddenly.
Her husband and son are stranded at a local store until
the weather calms down. While she is preparing for the worst, a man visitor appears at her
doorstep needing a place of shelter. This man turns out to be an old sweetheart of hers, Alcee.
As the story goes on, Calixta and Alcee, unleash themselves to passion once again and he is gone
In this particular story, I felt that Calixta’s moral dilemma is the fact that while she is
committing this sin of betrayal, she does not think once of her husband. If she feels that having an
intimate relationship behind her husband’s back is natural, then why is she hiding it from him?
Having morals is to believe in something and to believe in them so strongly that you do not fear
rejection because of them. Calixta obviously does not feel that her husband should know about
the affair, but at the same time, she feels sexual relations are natural.
To me, Calixta is confused
In the story A Good Man Is Hard To Find, a family is off on a vacation to Tennessee. In
the midst of their journey they are encountered by a wanted criminal, The Misfit. In brief
summary, the grandmother leads the rest of the family down a dirt road that she has mistaken for
a road she used to live on. While driving down this road, they flip the car over in a ditch. At this
point they are confronted by The Misfit who has witnessed this accident. The setting in this story
began playing a big part a while before when the grandmother was alerting the family of the
known Misfit being on the loose.
At this point I interpreted that later in the story, the family
would encounter this man. On the scene of the accident, I really came to terms with how troubled
this Misfit character really is. Upon arrival of the scene, The Misfit instantly has the father taken
in the woods and killed. Next were the mother and kids. By this time only the grandmother and
the Misfit remain. Here, the grandmother is tries to reason with this crazy man but he is not
willing to listen.
Next, she tries to make him pray, to trust in God. At this point, the Misfit goes
into detail about his life. He feels that everything he has ever done in his life has been considered
wrong whether it was or not. He believes that Jesus threw everything off balance when He raised
The Misfit’s moral dilemma is the fact that he thinks he is a misfit for life, that he can do
no good. He feels he will be punished for good or bad deeds. He can not seem to find a way out
and he is not willing to listen to otherwise.
In both stories the setting is a prediction to the author’s purpose and the plot of the
piece. The Storm’s setting seemed a little more prominent than A Good Man Is Hard To Find,
but with a bit of interpretation and thought, the reader is able to see how the setting is foreseeing
story’s main purpose. Calixta and the Misfit each have a moral dilemma and each of them deal
with it in their own way. Calixta simply goes on with her normal duties and the Misfit kills the
family. In today’s society, these conclusions seem to be similar in the sense that every person
deals with their dilemmas in a different way depending on what kind of background they have .