Analysis of characters in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Mary Flannery

Analysis of characters in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Mary Flannery

The heart of literature lies on a great characters and their roles in a story. Main characters in a story are easy to know and identify. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Mary Flannery O’Connor is one of the most famous examples of Southern Gothic literature (Mei 9). Mary has been writer since her childhood, she has worked for the student newspaper, literary magazine and wrote stories.  In many captivating story lines, the antagonist usually possesses great personalities that are admired or envied by the readers. Therefore, for any story to be a success the characters used must depict a two side of a story. The two sides of story bring a distinction between noble acts which are admirable and vices which are not liked. In the story of A Good Man is Hard to Find. There are many characters that can be counted however, the story gives value to three major characters. These are, Misfit, Bailey and the grandmother. O’Connor literature focuses on strange events, eccentric and characters. This is mainly to create a mood and unsettling realities of life in the American South during her age (Mei 9).

In the story of ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find’ relates the character’s relation to different themes in the story. The writer brings out different themes, such as family and inner conflict (Mei 9). The themes directly give a more resounding meaning of the title of the story. The Misfit for instance, lives a totally different life as compared to the Bailey’s family. He lives an abnormal related to crime no family background.  One can point out that, a theme of internal conflict is depicted in him. Misfit seems to look to for strong spiritual and moral guidance. He demonstrates this through a deep self-conviction that the other characters’ do lack. Despite the search for spiritual guidance he is violent and ready to kill. This are as a result from his internal feeling to seek self-fulfillment. Nonetheless, the internal conflict allows him to see himself different. He comes to know is not a great man but there are others in the world worse than him.

As much as Misfit has done many crimes he poses values for himself that gets him going. He has consistent philosophies of life, such as “no pleasure but meanness” and “the crime don’t matter.”   These philosophies are what guide him and portrays his values. For example, O’Connor called the Misfit a “prophet gone wrong,” Unlike the grandmother, whose moral code falls apart the moment (Mei 9). Misfit has a steady view of life that he is always right and acts according to what he believes in for actions. His morals are conventional in normal standards but he lives to them. These values that are strong and predictable in his behavior gives him hope. It is from such morals the he gets his values. When compared to the grandmother, he has a strong belief that whatever he does is in line with the life principles. The grandmother lacks consistent values as hers continue to change. When the two are compared, Misfit has twisted morals based on his view of life. The grandmother only comes to realizes this later in the story, that he has no life fundamentals.

O’Connor grounds the story in reality check point by emphasis and changing tone of the narration. By emphasizing the fear and the tone of the backdrop in the story, she depicts the real thoughts of Misfit. That is the Misfit has got a great fear in him that make him thinks and do comparison to other characters in the story. It is this fear that become the source for out sourcing for spiritual guide (Mei 9). Misfit have got the inner concise that if he does not get spiritual guide he might end up being worse. The tone in the story also bring out a major irony of events in the circumstances Misfit is entangling with. For instance, when Misfit who have killed still feel that there are worse people than him and can justify his crimes based on life philosophy. His life itself is questioned and full of pity and rage for even himself. Ironically, Misfit seriously question’s the meaning of life and his role in it. The tone of sympathy and concerned dawns at this moment and he feels there might be another way for life. This emphasis of his thoughts brings reality point of view in his life. The tone of change and self-fulfillment leads him to ponder over the role of Christ.

In conclusion, the literature work always carries more package. In the story above Misfit character is not only conventional but also eccentric. However, one is deemed to draw proper analogy for the course of his behavior. He feels okay with his reaction to continued crimes and can defend them based on his own philosophies. His actions are based on feelings for self-conventional and thoughts. This explains how character can be created in literature even though it might be in normal expectations of morals. He tries to see the world’s life in a totally different angle. O’Connor enlightens and gives readers the thoughts of Misfit and cause of his unique acts of crimes (Mei 9). In literature, we can create from what is not within the thoughts and cannot understand to be very obvious and clear. That is the actions of most characters in a story are as a result of internal thoughts and feelings. These facts explain the strange events in the story line depicted by the character in Misfit. Therefore, one has to understand literature entirely based on the mood, tone and themes of the characters used in the story.


Work Cited

Mei, Y. A. N. G. “O’Connor’s contradictory view towards women in A Good Man is Hard to Find [J].” Journal of Huainan Normal University 2 (2014): 009.