Analytical Essay Sample on “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

Posted on November 4, 2011

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” discusses human conduct in terms of moral codes. Morals are guidelines, which an individual or groups of people decide to abide with. The word moral does not mean right or good but rather what people choose to practice. For instance, the grandmother seems to have a different understanding of the word “good” and by knowing very well, that the fugitive is wrong, she refers to him as a good man. Additionally, she considers herself lady-like and good yet she withholds truth upon the realization that she has made a mistake. This costs the other characters their lives when they are shot by the fugitive and his accomplices. As much as the grandmother has a different perception about goodness, she believes in salvation and religion. When the family is attacked by thugs in the wood, she pleads to Jesus for safety, though at some point she becomes doubtful about her faith.

On the other hand, the fugitive has a different perception concerning morals stemming from his belief that he should not be in prison following an unfair conviction. Due to his frustration, the fugitive decides not to align to any common religion. The fugitive’s religion is bent on a selfish and self-centered slogan suggesting an immoral character. The children in this article also reflect a different view of moral codes. This can be seen in the insolent responses they offer to their grandmother during the road trip. Since the children are not corrected or rebuked, it seems it is also acceptable to the parents.

The story line also clearly exhibits how different people perceive morals. Universally, many people believe that morals are virtues or acceptable conducts within a society. This is however not necessarily true as it is just but one of the many beliefs that people follow. To others, it is right to practice what may be considered wrong. As evidenced in this article, the fugitive believes that true religion is revealed through meanness and inconsideration. The grandmother also supports this idea by her understanding of what good is. For example, she tells Red Sammy that he is good because he sold gas on credit to customers who were not considered credit worth. In a bid to save her life, she refers to the fugitive as a good man. This is very ironical with the misfit’s character and beliefs.

The grandmother, being a major character, has a lot to teach people regarding the consideration of morality in terms of practice and adherence. The grandmother fluctuates depending on the circumstances. On the contrary, the fugitive is a good example of a stable person in terms of morals, although they are largely considered as wrong. This is because, despite his unlawful character, he adheres to what he believes. When the grandmother pleads with him not to kill them, he firmly sticks to what he believes and what he has decided. He is a good example of a person who is ready to do anything for his cause. It is important for the society to adopt moral codes that are favorable to all.

This article largely relates with a personal experience of moral decadence witnessed. A certain employee seemed to contrast with other people’s good morals. She was never serious in her work and very disobedient. In addition, she was arrogant too and chose what to follow and what to leave out, in as much as the instructions were defined to her. When the employer was away, she just lazied around and did nothing productive. People with good morals work under minimal supervision, they do not challenge instructions/authority and they are highly courteous. Eventually, the employer had to dismiss her because she lacked good morals.

In conclusion, the community should create moral codes that assist in guiding people in terms of acceptable living patterns. Some moral codes are so important such that they constitute to lawmaking. Such edicts deal with prohibitions from stealing and killing, trespassing and other examples that fit in both moral and criminal laws.

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