Saturday, September 6, 2014

Finality of Eternal Rest: Morality

Is morality a derivative of death? It is human nature to amass a virtuous state after encountering the finality of eternal rest. The unknown is daunting to even the most cerebral being. To deviate from the permanence of death, a sense of rectitude procures within a being as a means of vindication for the imminence of the soul’s departing. Flannery O’Connor depicts the hypocrisy of the multitude in the short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The Grandmother delineates the lack of discernment within the human race. She continuously slanders the name of humanity in saying, “it isn’t a soul in this green world of God’s that you can trust”(O’Connor 2779). The grandmother brings forth little positivity into this world. With her assertion she conforms the human race into a single, fallacious being. Simply stated, no man nor woman can be of good nature in this world under the reign of the “all sufficient”(2 Cor. 9:8) one. As the story progresses, the family encounters a man enthralled within a “transgression of divine law”( The misfit, as he is known, displays to the grandmother the palpability of death. Out of desperation, the grandmother says to the Misfit “I just know you are a good man”(O’Connor 2783). She contorts her sentiment of the world to attain a sense of control over the situation. With a sense of morality, it is felt that one can overcome a seemingly insurmountable travesty. In the end, death is imminent for the grandmother. The Misfit closes in saying “she would have been a good woman...if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life”(O’Connor 2786). Does the reality of death conform human nature? Why do we, as humans, reflect upon our lives only in the hour of death and then choose to conform? 


  1. Katie,
    Really interesting questions here! What about that final quote: "“she would have been a good woman...if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life”? What does he mean? How are we supposed to read that?

  2. As I read your post next to all the posts about "The Swimmer" I wonder if some of these same questions might be applied to Neddy in that text as well... Might make for a really interesting essay!