The Importance of Violence in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor.
In the story "A Good Man is Hard to Find", Flannery O'Connor uses violence as a
force of both good and evil to demonstrate how people's attitudes and perspectives of life
change when they are faced with a situation of violent danger. The story is about a family
of six who, on their way to Florida are murdered by an escaped convict who calls himself
the Misfit. The characters include the grandmother, her son Bailey, his wife and their
children John Wesley, June Star and the baby.
In society violence is generally looked upon as evil because it is believed that no
good can result from violence. When looking at the occurrence of violence in "A Good
Man is Hard to Find" the reader sees the obvious negative aspect of death which results
The deaths that are a result of the violence elicit feelings of pity and terror
which demonstrate the negative aspects of violence within the story.
The attitude change in the grandmother demonstrates how violence is used as a
positive force. The change in attitude does not occur until the very end of the story and
up until that point the grandmother is rather hypocritical and selfish. Although the story
was written in 1955 the grandma still seems a little old fashioned for the time. As with
many ladies her age, the grandmother seems to cling to her past saying "People are
certainly not nice like they used to be" (333). The grandmother is also quite absorbed in
her appearance and takes great care to be sure that she will be seen as a lady. "She had
pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a...