Theme Of Hypocrisy In A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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“A Good Man is Hard to Find,” by Flannery O’Connor, is a story about a grandmother who is traveling with her son and his family to Florida. Since the beginning, she makes it clear that she does not want to go to Florida, even mentioning that there is a criminal on the loose. The truth is that the woman is not really worried about the safety of her family. She only wants to go to Tennessee, and telling her son about the criminal is her way of manipulating him. The woman’s selfishness and hypocrisy are what ultimately leads the family to its doom, and these themes, along with the element of the plot, are quite important for the story, for they show the readers about the importance of being selfless and honest with themselves and others. First…show more content…
Second of all, the theme of hypocrisy is present in the story. In the beginning, she tells her son about the criminal known as “the Misfit,” who is on the loose in Florida. She even says the following: “I wouldn 't take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn 't answer to my conscience if I did.” When her son ignores her comment, she decides to try a different approach, telling her grandchildren’s parents that they “ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad” and that “they never have been to east Tennessee.” Here, the grandmother has revealed her true intentions. She only wants for the children to go to Tennessee. Nevertheless, she not only deceives her own family but also fools herself by saying that she only cares about the safety of the kids. This shows her hypocritical nature, which she refuses to acknowledge. Another clear sign that proves that she is hypocritical would be the fact that in one scene, as they are on their way to Florida, she is scolding her grandchildren because they do not appreciate their home state and telling them that in her times, “children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else” and “people did right then.” Followed by that remark, she goes on to point at an African American boy and exclaim, “Oh look at the cute little pickaninny!” This shows how racist and stereotypical she really is, yet she believes that people were nicer in her times and that she is somehow superior to this generation’s individuals. She spends much of her time throughout the story saying how hard it is to find good men nowadays, which is ironic, considering she is a hypocrite. She, however, actually believes herself to be a good person. “In fact, the grandmother 's notions arc the source of her most serious shortcoming--her firm, and eventually fatal, conviction of her own rightness” (Hendricks p. 202). The woman does
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