“A Good Man Is Hard To Find” (themes)

The short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” has a lot of different themes involved. Since a long time ago there has being a issue of good versus evil, and that’s one of the themes. It also has other themes like: family, religion, society, and class. Good versus evil is developed because the grandmother has a confrontation with a superficial sense of goodness and a criminal who is evil. Religion is involved because the grandmother think that the Misfit is a good man, by her beliefs. On the other hand, family is included because there were just like a basic family, adults arguing and the two kids in the back. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, Flannery O’Connor shows the different types of themes that are in the story, which are: good vs evil, family and religion.

Good versus Evil is developed in the story when the Grandmother and the Misfit had a confrontation. In this case the Grandmother was the “good” versus the Misfit who was the “evil”. The Grandmother believes that a good man was easier to by long ago. The Grandmother also believes that a good man is a man who comes from the past or an earlier generation. When the Misfit and the Grandmother met, the Grandmother thought he was a good man, because he helped them with the accident. The Misfit knew that he wasn’t a good man, so he told the Grandmother that he wasn’t. The Grandmother kept telling him that he wasn’t a good man, so the Misfit had to tell her all the bad stuff that he has done.

Family is also one of the themes that are are involved in this short story. If the family in this short story is compared to another family, a lot of similarities can be seen. In a family there’s always a person who gets the whole family in trouble. In this case, this person will be the Grandmother because she causes the death of the whole family. The Grandmother wants to visit a place that she thinks she remembers but she doesn’t, that’s why they went the wrong way and encountered with the Misfit. In the family there’s also the kids who are annoying and have a bad behavior, which in this case are Bailey’s children.

Religion is another theme developed in this short story. The Misfit mentioned Jesus a couple of time. He can be considered as a Christ and antiChrist figure, because he says “It was the same case as me, except that ‘It was the same case with Him as me, except He hadn’t committed any crime and they could prove I had committed one because they had the papers on me’ (131). The Misfit was a good child that wanted to be an influence for others, just like Jesus. The Misfit started to lose faith and that’s why he committed too many crimes. When the Misfit was a child, he was one one the children that wanted to know everything. He wanted to one if what people said about Jesus was true, but nobody ever explained it to him. Since he never know if everything was true or not, he decided to become “the Misfit”.

In conclusion, a story can have several different themes in it. Even though the story started about a normal family, they all ended up dying. It is ironic to see the Misfit on the newspaper, and then find in in person. The main characters were the Misfit and the grandmother. The two main characters were involved in most of the themes. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, Flannery O’Connor clearly shows the different types of themes that are in the story, these themes are: good vs evil, family and religion.