“A Good Man is Hard to find” is the short story. In 1953, it was written by Flannery O’Connor. In this story, the author discusses the concept of 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 main idea of the story to the reader. Proper use of the character in the story is the one effective literary element which is used by the author. It adequately describes the central meaning of the story. Here the focus is to consider the element of character to analyze the main aspect of the “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”
The character of the “The Grandmother” can be characterized as the main character of the story. This particular character describes the aspect of evil which is hidden to everyone because she behaves immensely manipulative in front of people. She shows a sense of goodness but a true symbol of the real evil. She uses the element of goodness as a shadow to hide her negative intentions to others. The author successfully conveys the main idea of the story through the personality of the Grandma that sin is the necessary feature of the human’s life. Flannery O’ Connor depicts the decline of the religious faith of people by adopting the different forms of sin and hypocrisy (Harris, 2014).
Misfit and the Grandmother, both are the representation of the sinful personalities in the story. The main difference between these particular characters is that Misfit is immensely blunt about sins and accept 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 want to accomplish her desires at any cost.
Connor uses the character of the Grandmother to address the challenging issue of the society which provides indications about 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 wants to look good and nice only when others are watching her. She manipulates the life situations and even the feature of the faith just for the sake of herself.
On the other hand, the character of Misfit indicates the different feature of the human personality. His character shows that although he is the symbol of evil but also compassionate for others sometimes. His behavior with the Grandmother is the one example of this particular aspect. The author successfully delivers the main idea of the story through the personality traits of both the main characters of the story. She indicates that it is impossible to find all the goodness in a person and it is also applied in case of evilness and negativity. People are made of both these aspects (Desmond, 2004). It is crucial to accept the reality of life rather 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 the cruel man. His ultimate aim in life is to hurt others just 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 question the moral foundation of the other characters of the story. On a concluding note, it is notable to mention that the main characters of the story question the conventional way of judging the person as a good or the 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.