I'm not really sure how to start analyzing this one, but it seems to me that it is not until the very end of the text that the author begins to get to the point–although I'm honestly not sure what that is or how to relate it back to our theme of evil and suffering. But, either way, here goes:Something that really caught my attention was The Misfit's comments with regard to Jesus and the grandmother's insistence that he learn to pray since that seems directly related to religious studies. It isn't until the grandmother's life is in danger and she is coming face-to-face with evil and suffering that she begins preaching the virtues of prayer, prompting The Misfit's remark: "She would of been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." I suppose this reinforces something our group discussed in class. We concluded that evil and suffering was universal (in this case, the evil appears to be The Misfit's persecution of random innocents).
We also discussed that when confronted with evil and/or suffering, religion is frequently turned to. I think we can see this working in two ways in O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find.First of all, we look at the grandmother. She begins preaching about prayer and Jesus in hopes that she will strike some kind of emotional heartstring to make The Misfit reconsider his actions.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
We can assume that she is only doing this in order to protect her life and that she likely wouldn't have given the same sermon to someone she wasn't trying to sway. She wasn't preaching in hopes of salvaging The Misfit's tarnished soul; she was doing it for herself. She was using religion solely as a tool for her own purposes.On the other end of the spectrum is The Misfit. He speaks in length about his life, mentioning what "good" people his parents were. At the same time, however, he tells the grandmother: "Nome, I ain't a good man" so it could be proposed that on some level he views himself as some embodiment of evil. The Misfit tells the grandmother he knows Jesus would help him, but that he doesn't want Jesus's help. He later compares himself to Jesus.
He says the only difference is that Jesus was punished without having committed a crime, while he was punished for his crime (though unfittingly, he explains).But what I suppose fits in best with our theme of religious responses to evil suffering comes just before The Misfit shoots the grandmother. He says it wasn't fair that he wasn't there when Jesus lived because he couldn't know if Jesus really raised the dead. He says, "if I had of been there I would of known and I wouldn't be like I am now". Presuming that we perceive The Misfit as evil incarnate in some way, we can look at his religious response to his own evilness. That response seems to be one of anger.
That statement leads us to believe that he blames Jesus for his evil and suffering..