Summary Of A Good Man Is Hard To Find By Margaret Atwood

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As I slowly walk along the path of life through the valley of the universe, the shadow of death slowly darkens my sun. Everyone dies.

Margaret Atwood asserts in the F scenario of “Happy Endings” that regardless of which scenario from A to E the reader chooses, regardless of plot or character name change “…the endings are the same however you slice it” (Atwood 29). The reason, all scenarios loop back to A: “John and Mary die” (Atwood 29). It doesn’t matter how death comes about because the inevitable end result of temporal existence is that everyone dies. This is the common denominator between all of the scenarios, but it is also one I found between Atwood’s F scenario and Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” as a family of three adults and two children are murdered. But here’s the twist. While these stories share a common conclusion, they are not about death. “Happy Endings” and “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is about life. More to the point, they are about the choices people make that determine the outcome of one’s life before death.
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Where Atwood’s “Happy Endings” as a whole, and scenario F in particular, reads more like a “how do” instructional pamphlet and the conflict is the author’s cynicism, O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is a story that reads like a story with sequenced conflicts that lead up to a climactic moment and then answers the “Good versus Evil” question: which one will win? Unlike Atwood’s cynical instructional tone, O’Connor’s story begins like a thoroughbred bolting out of the starting gates of a horse

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