Moral Irony In A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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Flannery O’Connor, an American short story writer, grapples with the ethical dilemma of good versus evil and its relation to moral beliefs in most of her works. Most notably, in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, Bailey, June Star, John Wesley, the grandmother, and the mother are killed by The Misfit, an escaped criminal, in search of a plantation. Being the last family member alive, the grandmother struggles to find her moral compass while facing the Misfit. She explains her belief in Christian values to escape death. However, the Misfit finds her moral justification superficial, ultimately murdering the grandmother for her lack of moral fortitude during her face with death. Through O’Connor’s employment of foreshadowing, situational irony, and…show more content…
Based on the descriptions of The Misfit, he symbolizes death; the author forces the entire family to face death because of the grandmother. Upon discussing Jesus, The Misfit conveys his moral fortitude with the proposal that “…He shouldn’t have [raised the dead] …He threw everything off balance…then it’s nothing for you to go away and follow Him, then if He didn’t, then it’s nothing for [enjoy your last minutes] …by killing someone…no pleasure but meanness (O’Connor 244). Unlike the grandmother, The Misfit, seems sure of his moral beliefs. While it is true that the misfit is a murderer, he maintains strong moral beliefs. The Misfit is certain that he does not follow Jesus Christ and his morals while the grandmother is uncertain of her morals. She transitions from believing in Jesus’s beliefs to denying them, finally concluding that he didn’t raise the dead. At the end of the story, The Misfit indirectly references her lack of morals. “‘She would have been a good woman’ The Misfit said, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life (O’Connor 245).” He believes that the grandmother longs to have morals. Nevertheless, she does not realize her lack of personal intersection until meeting The Misfit. It is commonly assumed that the family each lack a component of personal intersection, a critical component in socialization. Ultimately, the grandmother was killed due to her lack of personal morals even after facing death through meeting the

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