A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is a short story written by Flannery O’Connor. In most stories of Flannery’s, she often includes a character that suffers from some sort of “spiritual blindness”, These characters are often not your usual suspects, They often do appear to be following what is right and following the way of God. That is what it seems at first glance. Taking another and deeper glance at the character makes it obvious that they suffer from spiritual blindness.

In this particular short story, the person that suffers from spiritual blindness is the protagonist, the grandmother. The grandmother in the story is the essential cause of the death of the family members. She is the one that wanted to go on the road trip to stay in east Tennessee and she is the one that offered to go to see the plantation. A grandmother does not seem like the type of person that would suffer from spiritual blindness, as they are experienced and have much wisdom, but just like all the other main characters in Flannery O’Connor’s stories, she does have it.

It at first seems that she is following the way of the Lord, and evidence of this is her many quotes about God and praying. The grandmother is not a good and true Christian she is very judgmental and ignorant, which are common characteristics of Flannery’s main characters, In the beginning of the story she talked about dressing as a lady so if anyone saw her dead on the highway, they would know at once that she was a lady.

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It seems that her spiritual blindness increases as the story goes on. In about the middle of the story the grandmother talks about wanting to go to the plantation. She encouraged the children’s pleads to go to it and even lied about there being a secret panel in the house. The plantation represents evil in the story. The grandmother wishes to go to evil, bringing along the rest of the family.

She made the evil location sound like a great place to the children, She made evil sound good. She can be described as a vincible erroneous character. She is at fault for her wrongdoings and she should have known better. As the family was trying driving to the plantation, the grandmother realized that she had made a mistake. The mistake was that realized that the plantation she was thinking about was not in Georgia, where they were driving in, but in tennessee, where they were very far away from. She realized her mistake right after the car accident. She chose not to tell the rest of the family her mistake, deceiving them So not only did she try to lead the family to evil, but she also ultimately lead them to their deaths. After the car accident, the family encountered even more trouble because of the grandmother, that trouble was “The Misfit”. The family‘s encounter with him was a disastrous one. In the end the whole family dies.

During the grandmother’s encounter with the Misfit, she rapidly and repeatedly calls him a good person. This is the main symptom of her spiritual blindness, She does not see what is evil has evil, She sees what is evil as good, this is what we call a false or erroneous conscience She constantly pleads to him that he must have come from a good family and that he is good and unlike the common man. She is mistaken. It seems that she has more compassion for the Misfit, a murderer, than her own son, which she often does not talk to and has a broken relationship. She even calls the Misfit one of her own children, it is like she wants to be associated with an evil person. In this story, the grandmother continuously adores and approaches evil. Another symptom of the grandmother’s spiritual blindness is her inability to say “Jesus will help you”. In the book she only says “Jesus, Jesus,” and it sounded as if she might have been cursing.

The grandmother can also be described as selfisht She often shut down the children’s and the parent‘s ideas and thoughts. During the scene with the Misfit, it seemed that she was only concerned with her own life and the Misfit. Occasionally she would cry “Bailey, Bailey,” btit she never even mentioned the rest of the family’s deaths. Another crucial symptom of spiritual blindness is when she gave into the Misfit’s ideas of Jesus never raising from the dead, The grandmother is too easily influenced by evil, which is the main reason of her spiritual blindness. Her selfishness and ignorance are the main obstacles that stand in her way of seeing the truth. The moment of grace occurs during the last scene of the grandmother’s confrontation with the Misfit The one opportunity she had to accept it was when the Misfit was trying to explain that Jesus did not rise from the dead and how Jesus “threw everything off balance”.

It was her last chance to deny that and accept God‘s grace, but she did not accept God’s grace He felt that God could not save her, and she might as well not believe in Christ. She chose the side of the devil, denying Christ at the last moments of her life. The Misfit only then calls the grandmother a good woman, only after realizing that she chose evil. The Misfit in this story represents the devil and shows how choosing evil will ultimately lead to your downfallt Spiritual blindness is a dangerous thing to have Many of Flannery O‘Connor‘s stories show that spiritual blindness can endanger your family, your friends, and yourself. However, in those stories a moment of grace is provided by God It is up to us that are spiritually blind to choose to accept that grace or to not accept it. It is not easy to spot someone that suffers from spiritual blindness, but it can happen to all of us.

In fact, I have suffered from spiritual blindness in my life. My story of spiritual blindness involves myself and my grandmother, I feel that a moment of grace was constantly offered to me but I repeatedly declined it. I only accepted God’s grace about two years ago, when it was too late, My grandmother was a hard working individual. She was born in the rough country of Haiti and raised four children alone, with her husband divorcing and leaving her. She received no child support and struggled to keep her children alivet She migrated to America to earn money to send back to them. As the children got older they moved to America as well, earning a better life and supporting their individual families. This story was told to me by my mother, as she was one of the kids that my grandmother raised. This story was told to me during Hurricane Irene, in August 2011, after the power went out.

This is when I feel that I accepted God’s grace. I feel that was too late, as my grandmother died in January. My whole life up until I was thirteen, my age the year my grandmother died, I did not have a close relationship with my grandmother. She was a good Christian that preached to me almost every day. She would always tell me to go to church and to love everybody, but I constantly ignored her. She forced me to go to church, in which I passively participated in. She was always telling me stories that I did not want to hear and I could barely understand her Haitian accent I felt that she was a nuisance and that I would be better off ifI followed my own personal beliefs and philosophies. I was fading away from a Christian life because I felt that my grandmother was crazy and I made the assumption that all Christians are like that. I almost fully converted to an atheist at a young age.

Then suddenly my mother told me that my grandmother was getting sick. She had to go to the hospital numerous times and was later put in a nursing home, as she used to live in my parents’ house. I was getting slightly frightened but Ijust shrugged it off and told myself that everything will be alright. We visited her one day at the hospital and she told me to pray to her every day, I never prayed for someone but I decided to grant her that wish. On January 16, 2011, my mom told me that my grandmother had died. I did not cry but I did feel a little sad, I saw my mother crying and I started to have nostalgia of all the memories I had with my grandmother. After about ten minutes, I shrugged it off and started to play video games. During her funeral, I realized how evil I was I wanted to somehow compensate for the way I treated her but there was nothing I could do.

I eventually forgot about it until Hurricane Irener the power went off and I decided to talk to my parents, which I usually do not do because 1 have the technology. My mom told me the stories of my grandmother and about her braveness, and good Christian life, this is when I realized all of my wrong doings and promised to never forget what my grandmother has done for me. Ever since then, I have been going to church every weekend and tried to live a good Christian life just like my grandmother did. I have visited her grave many times since her death and have been keeping her in my prayers every day. I have learned to never turn away from God, or my family, now I feel that my spiritual blindness has been lifted.

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor. (2023, Apr 08). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-by-flannery-o-connor/

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