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

1052 words 5 pages
Good vs. Evil in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Flannery O’Connor shows her readers a realistic look at their own mortality in “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The story is about a family of five, a father, mother, grandmother, and two children, starting out on a vacation to Florida from Georgia. The family, on their way to a routine vacation, takes a detour that will change their lives forever. Through the use of literary elements like symbolism and characterization, O’Connor creates a theme of good vs. evil, which can be felt throughout the story by tapping into the audience’s emotions.
How does one characterize good and evil? Throughout time, people have asked this question and only received opinions based on references from
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The description of the car and driver portrays darkness and invokes fear. The driver, known as The Misfit, does not like kids or Jesus, and disagrees with the grandmother when she calls him a “good man” (O’Connor 451-54). “The Grandmother's encounter with the Misfit tests her religious beliefs, and in so doing, unfolds the mystery of good and evil” (Desmond).
O’Connor’s use of characterization and symbolism opens her story world up to her readers, stirring up their own emotions, and not only allowing them to see theme of good vs. evil, but feel the difference between them, as well. No human is perfect, but most good people have decent morals and a conscience while evil people have no guilt or conscience; just like the grandmother and The Misfit. Contrary to what the grandmother thinks, being good or evil is not determined by how one is raised or what kind of family one comes from, but by the choices and actions that one makes. Being able to relate to her characters and feel what they feel is how O’Connor draws in her audience and creates a tragically wonderful story that is a must read for everyone.

Works Cited
“Character.” The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2008. 123-43. Print
Desmond, John.


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