“A Good Man is Hard to Find presents a masterful portrait of a woman who creates a self and a world through language.” (Shenck 220) At least that is what Mary Jane Shenck thinks of the Flannery O’Connor story. Several different people have several different views of this controversial and climatic work of O’Connor’s. In this paper I will take a look at these different views of different situations and characters in this book.
First we will take a look at grandmother.
She is made to look like the saint in this story. Her, in contrast to the rest, is the good person, always looking out for the best of others. She is not going on vacation, she is going to visit her “connections” in Tennessee. While on the drive, to their destination, she sits and admires the scenery as the others are more interested in the funny papers or the sports section. She brings the cat along on the trip for the good of the cat. She didn’t want the cat to accidently kill himself by turning on the gas on the stove or something.Order now
She is the “Christ-like” figure of this story, and this is more relevant at the end of the story when she confronts the Misfit. Just like in so many other O’Connor stories the grandmother, the good character, is going to take the hardest fall.
The Misfit appears many different ways in this story. His first appearance in the story he seems to be a scholar. Wearing his silver-rimmed glasses and a black hat. This description would also fit a description of a rabbi.
This image comes just by looking at his head. His shirtless torso and blue jeans, which didn’t quite fit right, and gun in hand, kind of veer us away from thinking of him as being a good man. Of course the limitations of his character don’t stop at his appearance. He also is a record keeper. He writes down everything he does and signs it. This way he knows what he has done and what he hasn’t.
He tells the grandmother this before killing her. The reason for doing this, in the Misfit’s mind, is so that he can match up the crime with the punishment and see if they are right for each other. If they are not then you know that the system hasn’t done their job correctly. He knows that his punishment is no mistake because he wrote down his actions. He respects the power of the words because they define what he does.
The other identity mask that the Misfit puts on is the mask of the Lone Ranger.
He, though, is not looked upon as a white Lone Ranger, but a black Lone Ranger. The mixture of good and evil inside of him is a meanness in whole. He feels that he has saved the grandmother by shooting her. He even turns to one of his two henchmen, Bobby Lee, and tells him something along the line of that she would have been a good woman if she would have had someone there to shoot her all the time. The only pleasure that the Misfit got out of killing grandmother is the meanness behind the action..
Now we take a look at the ending. The family had an accident on a back road, flipping their car. This occurred all because of grandmother. She told Bailey that the old plantation was along this way, and that the mansion had a secret panel in it. The kids went nuts to see this passage, and Bailey, the father, gave in and took them down this road to see it. The cat got uncomfortable from the whole situation and jumped on Bailey’s shoulder, causing the accident.
If grandmother would have left the cat at home, like Bailey wanted her to, or even had not made up this story of the secret panel, then this accident would not have happened. When the Misfit and his gang show up the Misfit has his two henchmen, Bobby Lee and Hiram, kill the family. First taking Bailey and John Wesley, and then the mother and daughter into the .