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Analysis of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

“A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a short story. In 1953, it was written by Flannery O’Connor. In this story, the author discusses the concept of a struggle between the features of good and evil. It successfully indicates the feature of evilness through the visible and somewhat hidden aspects of life. Flannery O’Connor successfully used different literary devices to convey the story’s main idea to the reader. The author uses proper character in the story as an effective literary element. It adequately describes the central meaning of the story. Here, the focus is to consider the character element to analyze the main aspect of “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”

The character of “The Grandmother” can be characterized as the main character of the story. This character describes the aspect of evil hidden from everyone because she manipulates immensely in front of people. She shows a sense of goodness but a true symbol of real evil. She uses the element of goodness as a shadow to hide her negative intentions from others. The author successfully conveys the story’s main idea through the personality of the Grandma that sin is a necessary feature of the human life. Flannery O’Connor depicts the decline of people’s religious faith by adopting different forms of sin and hypocrisy (Harris, 2014).

Misfit and the Grandmother represent the sinful personalities in the story. The main difference between these particular characters is that Misfit is immensely blunt about sins and accepts the reality of negativity while the grandma shows the opposite dimension. She is sinful but not ready to express her true self to others. She is the true representation of the manipulative and selfish person who wants to accomplish her desires at any cost.

Connor uses the grandmother’s character to address the challenging issue of society, which provides indications of the dual personalities of the people. The overall appearance of the Grandmother indicates that she wants to portray herself respectably in front of people. She is always believed to show herself as the real lady (Nester, 2006). Undoubtedly, she only wants to look good and nice when others are watching her. She manipulates the life situations and even the features of the faith just for her.

On the other hand, the character of Misfit indicates the different features of the human personality. His character shows that although he symbolizes evil, he is compassionate to others sometimes. His behavior with the Grandmother is one example of this particular aspect. The author successfully delivers the story’s main idea through the personality traits of both the story’s main characters. She indicates that it is impossible to find all the goodness in a person and it is also applied in cases of evilness and negativity. People are made of both these aspects (Desmond, 2004). It is crucial to accept the reality of life rather than manipulate the situation and behave selfishly.

The character of the Misfit can also be identified as heartless as he behaves most of the time as a cruel man. His ultimate aim is to hurt others to gain an advantage. He is even ready to kill others for the sake of his self-interest. The character of the Misfit is also crucial because his way of life questions the moral foundation of the story’s other characters. On a concluding note, it is notable to mention that the story’s main characters question the conventional way of judging a person as good or bad in life.


Desmond, J. (2004). Flannery O’Connor’s Misfit and the Mystery of Evil. Renascence, 56(2), 129–137.

Harris, A. C. (2014). Jesus Thrown Everything Off Balance”: Grace and Redemption in Flannery O’Connor’s” A Good Man is Hard to Find. Papers & Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research, 3(1), 5.

Nester, N. L. (2006). O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find. The Explicator, 64(2), 125–127.



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