A Good Man Is Hard To Find

"A Good Man Is Hard To Find" by Flannery O'Connor (Image does not belong to me. Original Link )

"A Good Man Is Hard To Find" by Flannery O'Connor

(Image does not belong to me. Original Link )

After reading A Good Man Is Hard To Find once, I had to re-read it a few times to understand why a good man is hard to find. Just by observing the title, you would think it had something to do with relationships or a story of a woman who had a broken heart, who suffered many attempts at a relationship but never got a chance. She then finally meets a man, a good man but she’s too closed off to be open to see how great of a catch he was until it was too late. Instead, I was misguided into reading about morals and what would make someone a “good man” or a “good Christian”. I found it difficult to understand as to why the author chose such a title, not thinking of her own religious views. 

            After reading the story in-depth, it was even more difficult to understand the significance of the story. At the end of the first reading, it felt as if I just examined a story filled with details of a road trip that ended tragically and nonsensically. The ending made no sense to me. Why use “It’s no real pleasure in life” as the last sentence? Why not continue the story to somehow show that the murders eventually changed the Misfit into a “good” man instead of what seems like a cold-hearted killer?

            My initial interpretation of the story was pretty limited. I honestly thought this story was about tragic family road trip that could have been diverted if they all listened to Grandma. Throughout the entire reading, she sometimes hid religious ideas with symbolism and it made me realize that this was just to show how bad the world was without Jesus/God in it. People kill families just because there is no “good man” around to do “good”. Only a “good man” would spare a Grandma from death. Only a “good man” would listen when his mother speaks and only a “good man” would know how to act when in the presence of elders; only a “good man”. 

         
 Being "good" isn't limited to religion and I think the author failed to realize that. What do you think? Why would you characterize someone as a "good man"?


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