Violence In A Good Man Is Hard To Find Essay

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Violence and the Threat of Punishment In Flannery O’Connor’s 1995 short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” a family leaves on a vacation that does not go as planned. The grandmother suggests a detour that leads them to a sparsely traveled dirt road. After their car flips over, the run into the Misfit, a dangerous escaped convict. The Misfit shows them no mercy and kills them all shortly after. In the story, the male characters all display violent tendencies instilled in them through the inherently patriarchal society they live in. John Wesley, the eight year old son, is shown to have violent characteristics, despite his young age. As a child, he is being conditioned into developing these habits. When his grandma asks him about what he would…show more content…
This progression of good to disturbing shows his alienation from the community. He has convinced himself that he has done no wrong and the he is being unjustly persecuted. He has convinced himself that he did not murder his father and instead that his father died of sickness. His list also shows how he sees beating and burning people alive as normal, everyday acts. When the grandma reaches out to touch the Misfit, the Misfit springs “back as if a snake had bitten him and [shoots] her three times through the chest” (1155). The Misfit has a problem with authority and the grandma is a symbol of authority which is why he loses his mind and immediately shoots her. The Misfit’s violent tendencies have ben instilled in him through the failure of the prison system and his own childhood. The woman he saw beaten can be inferred to be his own mother because as he says it he looks directly at the mother of John Wesley and June Star. This shows that his childhood was also riddled with violence. It also could be the reason that the officials say he killed his
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