top-rated free essay

Moral Code

By Mommahill65 May 05, 2013 911 Words
“Moral Code”
Imagine watching evening news Easter weekend and headlining story of the night is a senseless murder of an entire family. Our normal reaction would be filled with distain and disgust. Leaving unanswered questions like “why” or “how could someone do that?” What drives someone to kill other people? Where is their Moral Code? Most stories like this will give you the killers interpretation of why their moral code went astray and usually gain your empathy, even though you don’t agree. In the short story by Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” I don't feel this story was written in a manner to persuade people to accept a moral code. The story doesn't give you any insight to anyones moral, in my opinion. There is however, the grandmothers flailing attempt to seem moral, with her southern upbringing and towards the end of her life her Christian faith.

The Grandmother has a strong southern up bringing which is pointed out several times in the story. One example in the text is when she describes the purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet, in case she is found dead, so she will know for being a “lady”. Another example is when grandmother talks about being courted by southern gentlemen when she was younger. Yet another example, when grandmother tries to bond with the Misfit, telling him how she knows he isn’t at all “common”. In the last example she attempts to sway the Misfit in such a way to earn his favortisim by bringing up their common bond of being from southern blood. There are several attempts in the beginning to convince the family to return to her home Tennesse instead of going to Florida. Both states are considered southern, but the pride of where she is from resounds, especially when the young John Wesly mentioned wanting to get out of Georgia as fast as possible, and granmother responded, "In my time, children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else”

I get the impression while reading this story that grandmother thinks of herself higher than the son’s family. For example, she frowned at the children's behavior, she seemed unimpressed her son’s wife, who has no name in the story. She didn’t really seem to take the seriousness of the situation as the son and his child were lead to the woods. I found it most ironic that in the beginning of the story, she was hell bent on not going to Florida because of the Misfit in the papers. Ultimately it was her misguided attempt to sight see that put the family on the dirt road that lead to them running directly into the path of the Misfit. Grandmother remembers that the road she wanted was in reality, back in her beloved Tennessee, but she makes a note to herself not to mention it to her son . At the same time, she didn’t have the sense of the not mention out loud when she recognized the Misfit from the paper. As far as the parents response to the Misfit, I feel they knew the ultimate outcome and were behaving, unselfishly, in a manner to keep the children as calm as they could. In the end, the grandmother is still more focused on her own survival, expressing no moral outrage at what just happened to her son and grandson or as the mother and daughter are being led out to the woods. Several times she mentions to the Misfit, “You wouldn't shoot a lady would you?”

The Misfit and his fellow fugitives are not nice guys, but that was evident from the newspaper reports in the beginning. I think as a reader you don’t expect him to have a moral code other than perhaps a code to be unmoral as necessary. I did get the impression he was a simple man, either suffering from a mental illness or from a learning disability. He had broken language skills, that was obvious, but mostly I get the impression he did’t think like other people, for example, when he couldn’t recall why he was in jail. He spoke highly of his father but seemed otherwise emotionless about everything else, such as the weather, the way they drove to the accident scene, the cat on his leg after he killed grandma. Life seemed to be very mundane to the Misfit. He was emotionless regardless if he was talking about fixing the car or telling the guys to take them into the woods. The most substantial statement in the story for me was also the only tell tale sign of higher thinking from the Misfit. When the Misfit said of the grandmother, she would have been a good women if somebody was there to shoot her every minute of her life”

In conclusion, I found I had no real expectation of morality while reading short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Ultimately, I was not taken by surprise by the lack of moral code displayed by the Misfit. It was however, surprising to see how the grandmothers attempt to seem moral with her southern upbringing and her Christian faith. More commonly you will find stories like this will give you the killers interpretation of why their moral code went astray and usually gain your empathy. This story does not take us on the journey into why the Misfit is where he is in life.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • law and morals

    ...Law and morals Part A Law has been defined by Sir John Salmond as the body of principles recognised and applied by the state in administration of justice. There are two theories on what law is, the natural law theory and the positivist law theory Lloyd a natural law theorist defined the law as the constant assertion that there are object...

    Read More
  • Moral policing

    ...MORAL POLICING, WOMEN, MEDIA AND PERSONAL FREEDOMMoral policing is a controversial term. Its supporters say it is an important function to be performed to safeguard our culture against western influence and save our youth from corruption. Those who oppose it see it as a threat to individual freedom and democratic dissent. I would not have been i...

    Read More
  • Moral Obligations

    ...themselves in helping that person, than that person should help. Singer also argues that if people did act upon principle our lives, our society, and our world would fundamentally change. Singer first argues that distance and proximity shouldn’t be taken into account when it comes to helping. He argues that it makes no moral difference whet...

    Read More
  • Is Hamlet Moral?

    ...In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet’s character serves as the backbone behind the tragedy’s portrayal of good moral consciousness. From Hamlet’s first encounter with his father’s ghost, the audience becomes aware of Hamlet’s honorable motive to avenge the death of his father. Hamlet’s honorable desire “to right the wrong...

    Read More
  • Moral Autobiography

    ...My Moral Autobiography Junior year of high school I was diagnosed as having an eating disorder; I was anorexic which can be defined as "a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight-loss" ( This definition does not mention that the effects o...

    Read More
  • Moral Decay

    ...Question angie Resolved QuestionShow me another » What causes moral decline among teenagers besides parents? i'm taking part in a debate and i have to disagree that "parents' negligence is the cause of moral decline among teenagers".....can anyone pls help me with dis.... 5 years ago Report Abuse Atom 74 Best Answer - Chosen by Vot...

    Read More
  • Why Be Moral ?

    ...WHY SHOULD WE BE MORAL??? Being moral is a choice free from both internal and external factors. Unless we have some convincing reasons for being moral, there is no point in enquiring what is morally good and what is not. This question concerns reasons than causes. Also one must realize that being moral involves self denial. For example a mo...

    Read More
  • Moral Intelligence

    ...“Moral Intelligence” Authors: Doug Lenick and Fed Kiel Critiqued by: October 10, 2007 Fall 2007 Class Honor Code: “I declare and affirm that the work submitted herein is my own work product from my own labor, efforts, and endeavors, and that I did not seek, receive, offer, or accept unauthorized aid or assistance or us...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.