Evangelism In A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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Characters serve as the metaphorical foundation upon which a story is written. In fact, the personalities of characters often reveal the outcome of a story’s plot before the author explicitly states it. In Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” the self-indulgent grandmother portrays the outcome of her attempted evangelism through her sanctimonious nature. Through her illegitimate Christian appearance based on deceit and self-elevation, her failed attempt to persuade the Misfit can be attributed to her hypocritical personality. The grandmother’s bigoted self-elevation quickly taints her moral reputation. While common in her environment, the grandmother does not resist racial slurs. In fact, she wields them as an integrated part of her vocabulary to undermine her supposed inferiors. She first exemplifies her instinctive racism when she calls a black child a…show more content…
Due to their similar attributes, the grandmother and Misfit are not drastically different. Neither the grandmother nor the Misfit are purely good or evil; however, they do represent a general reputation of good and evil, respectively. Upon closer inspection, however, there is one fundamental difference between the two characters’ personalities: admission of wrongdoing. This is such a significant distinction that some critics argue that the Misfit’s character is not as corrupted as the grandmother’s because “the Misfit openly acknowledges his evil,” compared to the grandmother’s façade (Desmond). Due to this, the grandmother is not able to connect with the Misfit because she is hiding behind of a false appearance. These limitations cause the grandmother to lose spiritual authority and instead bound her to the Misfit’s set of beliefs. Although construed, the Misfit holds spiritual superiority, not because of a greater abundance of grace but because of his
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