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Good vs. Evil in “a Good Man Is Hard to Find” Essay


Flannery O’Connor reveals her readers a reasonable look at their own death in “An Excellent Guy is Difficult to Discover.” The story is about a household of 5, a dad, mom, grandma, and 2 children, starting out on a holiday to Florida from Georgia. The family, on their method to a routine vacation, takes a detour that will change their lives forever. Through using literary components like importance and characterization, O’Connor develops a theme of good vs.

wicked, which can be felt throughout the story by using the audience’s emotions. How does one define great and wicked?

Throughout time, people have asked this concern and just received opinions based on recommendations from spiritual works, such as The Holy Bible. “An excellent man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good ideas: and a wicked man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34). In other words, a great male does advantages, and an evil male does wicked things. Utilizing characterization, O’Connor personifies the granny as good and The Misfit as evil. Although there are grey areas, readers have the ability to discern which character is which.

The granny is defined as an excellent person and a woman that does the ideal thing according to the standards of her time. She appears to deal with goodness mostly as a function of being decent, having good manners, and originating from a family of “excellent blood” (O’Connor 454). Prior to leaving for holiday, the grandma wore her finest garments, so she would appear like a lady, or, in her eyes, an excellent person (O’Connor 446). The grandmother’s portrayal of great makes her flawed, much like every other human being, which draws in the reader by making the character relatable.

Everyone has their own defects. The Misfit is utilized as a foil character to the grandma, assisting to reveal “by contrast [her] distinctive certifications” (“Character” 127). By identifying The Misfit as a murdering convict looking for enjoyment through others pain, O’Connor’s reaches her audience by instilling fear in them. The occasions happening in the story can actually take place, and this allows unbiased readers to put themselves in the story line and feel what O’Connor makes the characters feel.

An excellent example of creating worry and compassion in the audience is when O’Connor writes, “There were two more pistol reports and the grandmother raised her head like a dry old turkey hen crying for water and called, ‘Bailey Young Boy, Bailey Kid!’ as if her heart would break” (O’Connor 454). In this line, readers feel hearts nearly break in compassion for the grandma as if they have actually lost their own child, however soon fear creeps up due to the fact that everyone has actually been murdered except the grandma, leaving her alone with evil.

Through characterization, O’Connor develops a psychological and relatable connection in between the story and the readers, which is an excellent aspect that specifies excellent writers from great writers. Checking out is just a method for people to get away the daily redundancies of life, even if it is met worry and sympathy. In “A Great Guy is Hard to Discover,” symbolism is used to foreshadow the actions and depict the real character of The Misfit. Importance is using “an individual, things, or occasion that suggests more than its actual significance” (“Meaning” 270).

O’Connor utilizes things that are not menacing in everyday use and describes them in such graphic detail that it intensifies the fear to come in the story (Kahane). After the family had actually wrecked, a car comes into view, goes by them, returns around moving slower than before, and stops (O’Connor 450). The cars and truck is referred to as “a big black battered hearse-like car,” and the driver is shown as “an older man” with graying hair around a “long creased face” wearing “blue jeans that were too tight for him” with no shirt (O’Connor 450).

The description of the car and driver represents darkness and invokes fear. The driver, known as The Misfit, does not like kids or Jesus, and disagrees with the grandma when she calls him a “excellent guy” (O’Connor 451-54). “The Granny’s encounter with the Misfit tests her faiths, and in so doing, unfolds the mystery of excellent and evil” (Desmond). O’Connor’s usage of characterization and importance opens her story world as much as her readers, stirring up their own emotions, and not just permitting them to see style of good vs. evil, however feel the distinction between them, too.

No human is best, but most excellent individuals have good morals and a conscience while wicked individuals have no regret or conscience; similar to the grandma and The Misfit. Contrary to what the granny believes, being excellent or wicked is not identified by how one is raised or what sort of family one comes from, however by the choices and actions that a person makes. Being able to connect to her characters and feel what they feel is how O’Connor draws in her audience and develops a tragically fantastic story that is a need to read for everyone. Works Cited “Character.” The Bedford Intro to Literature. Ed.

Michael Meyer. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2008. 123-43. Print Desmond, John. “Flannery O’Connor’s misfit and the mystery of evil.” Renascence: Essays on Worths in Literature 56. 2 (2004 ). Literature Resource Center. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. < Kahane, Claire. "Flannery O'Connor's Range of Vision.

” Flannery O’Connor, Blossom’s Significant Narrative Writers (1985 ): 123-24. Blooms Literary Recommendation Online. Realities On File. Web. 5 Nov 2012. < O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Guy is Tough to Discover." The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2008. 445-55. Print "Significance." The Bedford Intro to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2008. 270-71. Print The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments in the King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984. Print.

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