Analyzing a Good Man Is Hard to Find

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Times Change and So Do Values

As a child, our parents teach us values and principles. Most of the time the values they teach have been handed down through their families and changing them slightly to adapt to the time and culture. What if parent's don't teach their kids ethical values? What if over the years, people have decided that certain principles has become obsolete? A case in point is the story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Conner. This story is a prime example of how people's morals change throughout history. I propose that in order for us to get a better understanding of this story we need to analyze the theme of the story, evaluate the nature of the grandmother, and explore what the grandmother's hat represents.

The story focuses on the breakdown of society's morals and values. The grandmother makes reference to the way children behaved in her time. As her grandchildren make disrespectful remarks to her, the grandmother replies, " In my time, children were more respectful to their native states and their parents and everything else. People did right then" (251). She is comparing the way children act now to the way they acted in earlier times. In earlier times, children and people in general had more respect for each other. The people did not back talk their elders as they are doing in this story. While stopping to get something to eat, the grandmother strikes up a conversation with Red Sammy, the owner of the restaurant, who shared the same opinion with the grandmother. Red Sammy tells the grandmother, " A good man is hard to find, everything is getting terrible. I remember the day you could go off and leave your screen door unlatched. Not no more" (252). Sammy is describing society as a whole. He is implying that people should not leave their houses unlocked as in previous times, in fear of someone breaking into their house and stealing from them or worse. The story concludes with the Misfit and his cohorts...
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