Cautiousnessin “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
Thegrandmother and the Misfit take part in a profound conversation aboutreligion and faith. Regardless of the tension and fear of thegrandmother, one cannot overlook the turn that the conversationtakes. The grandmother, defending his family from the Misfit asks himto start praying to Jesus. This portrays her as a believer in theChristian faith, but at this point the reader denotes her sincerity.As the Misfit gives his story, the grandmother again suggests that heshould pray for help from Jesus. Given the history of the Misfit as agospel singer, he is well aware of the articles of Catholic faith.
Thecharacters engage in a lengthy dialogue regarding the resurrection ofJesus. On one hand, the Misfit, a fugitive serial killer, does notbelieve that Jesus resurrected, but answers that the resurrection ofJesus “knocked everything off balance” (O`Connor 150). The Misfitblames the resurrection of Jesus for the world’s imbalance or theunequal nature of people as well as the suffering that some people gothrough while others do not. The Misfit considers the resurrection ofJesus insignificant while the Catholic faith values the event.Conversely, the grandmother states that maybe Jesus never raised thedead. The Misfit argues that he was not there when Jesus was raisedfrom the dead and so, he is not sure if he actually did it.
TheMisfit does not believe in the punishment he was given saying thathis punishment never fit his crimes. In the dialogue, he explains themeaning of his name that he coined or got it following his wrongdoings. According to the wrong he had committed, was accorded thename Misfit.
Itis ironic that with a Christian background, meanness and punishmentdescribe his view of morality, a result of what he had gone through.He blames Jesus as the cause of im-balance in the world, since hedoes not believe in resurrection and forgiveness. However, he statesthat he does not keep track of his wrong doings since the accordedpunishment will cover and prove him guilty. The grandmother is quickto state that the Misfit looks like a nice person, a nice person froma kind hearted family. The conversation between the grandmother andthe Misfit portrays a discussion on morality with one believing inthe Christian faith and the other never recognizing it.
Giventhe Misfit’s sentiments about Jesus, morality, and punishment, onewould argue that the conversation reflects O`Connor`s Catholicbeliefs in the resurrection, and morality as portrayed by thegrandmother’s sentiments. As the Misfit narrates the story of hisfather’s death and his time in the penitentiary, he describes theunjust and cruel punishment that befell him. The grandmother, on thecontrary, begs for her life and suggests that it is inappropriate toshoot a woman. However, the Misfit carries out the act withoutflinching. On this note, one argues that the right to accordpunishment may differ within individuals, which implies that everyperson has a different view on the appropriate mode of action. Forthe Misfit, it was necessary to shoot the grandmother because henever deserved the punishment that accorded him the name Misfit. Apersonal and psychological evaluation of one`s background stimulateshis/her view of justice. The conversation between the grandmother andthe Misfit raises controversies regarding the belief in a religionand faith.
O`Connor, Flannery. A Good Man Is Hard to Find. American Studies, Collected works the Library of America, 1925- 1964. Web. 8 July 2016, < http://xroads.virginia.edu/~drbr/goodman.html>