Fwd: DISCUSSION: “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”: The Moment of Grace
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While reading “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” I couldn’t help but appreciate the way O’Connor includes religion and “moments of grace” in her writing. To me, it makes her writing more relatable and realistic, despite the fictional exaggerations. I enjoyed the suspense in this story. It started off a little slow and I didn’t know what to expect at first. I like how the author didn’t really give a year for the setting, at least not that I remember, but she used clues to hint at what era it was. For example, the way the grandmother spoke about the negro boy, and that the house used to be a plantation, it lead me to believe that the story took place post slavery but most likely before the civil rights era.Thats just an assumption though because I’m sure there are still many people who talk like that, especially in the South.
Anyway, when the characters at the restaurant engaged in conversation with the grandma about there not being any good people/ men left, and not being able to trust anybody, it reminded me of things I’ve spoken about with my loved ones and peers. We often say that but we never expect anything bad to really happen to us. That is why the events of the story shocked me a lot because in the beginning I thought the grandma was being a typical worry wort of a grandma.
It was beautiful to see her call out to God and encourage the misfits to seek God when they found them in the ditch after the car accident. The grandma, as the main character, was kind of getting on my nerves before that moment when it displayed a more human and faithful side of her. It was harsh when one of the misfits said that she would be a really great person if someone was shooting her everyday. That really resonated with me because I think as humans we would all be the best versions of ourselves if we were faced with the obvious possibility of death everyday, because its so easy to forget about it and get caught up in worldly B.S., if you will.
“A Good Man is Hard to Find” left me feeling sad. It was definitely a violent and unsettling story. The grandmother was the main character, and the one to have the revelation before she was killed. She was trying to convince “The Misfit” that he was really a good person. She’s smart to try reverse psychology on him trying to make a connection with him in order to protect herself. To bad it didn’t work, but right before he shot her, the narrator said “His voice seemed about to crack and the grandmother’s head cleared for an instant. She saw the man’s face twisted close to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, “Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children!” She reached out and touched him on the shoulder.
The grandmother had a revelation that even though he was a bad man, she saw his soul in that instance and loved him anyways, as religious people believe everyone is a son of God. She had clarity in that moment and was at peace even though she knew her fate. As we learned that is O’conners moment of grace, right before the granny is shot, she sees clearly.
The line “and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky.” symbolizes that she died with love in her heart. That was gods unexpected gift to her, to take away her fear.
The cloudless sky, and the mention of the cloudless sky a couple of other times, symbolizes it wasn’t a dark day, however it wasn’t a bright day either. Perhaps it was a peaceful day? Maybe symbolic of the granny, as well as the rest of the family, being at peace. Kind of eerie.
The old and young generations were very clearly represented in this story, young vs. old. The grandmother telling the children how people used to act in her day, respectful of their state and respectful to everyone, and everything. She also cared about her appearance, putting the pin on to show everyone she is a lady. And the children were definitely more cynical, and outspoken.